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This World Chocolate Day, chocolate lovers have more reasons to celebrate the sweet treat as scientific studies show that it lowers risks of heart disease and improves brain function.
But not all chocolates are created equal.
While all “chocoholics” would agree that a bar of chocolate can improve one’s mood, some packs have more health benefits than others.
Cocoa, which comes from cacao beans, contains flavonoid that is healthy for both the heart and brain, according to multiple studies.
Good for the Heart
A University of Illinois study found that flavonoid-containing food lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Another study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health indicates that moderate chocolate intake has cardiovascular benefits as it reduces risks of atrial fibrillation, a form of irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke or heart failure.
Good for the Brain
Studies have also shown that flavanols, the main type of flavonoid in chocolates, improves cognitive function.
A 2017 study published in Frontiers of Nutrition suggests that cocoa-derived products rich in flavanol enhance cognitive performance and helps prevent cognitive decline.
Choosing the Good Chocolate
While there are scientific evidence supporting every chocoholics “sweet dream,” here are three ways to choose chocolates better:
Chocolate with higher percentage of cacao are rich in antioxidants that support good health. It also contains flavonoids that improve heart health and brain function, as studies show.
Chocolates from cacao farms in the Philippines are organic by default because cacao farmers cannot afford chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The sad reality is our farmers use natural pest control due to poverty.
Buying locally-made organic chocolates, though a bit more expensive than regular ones, will help cacao farmers sustain their livelihood and eventually lift themselves from poverty.
Brands that promote fair trade practices ensure that farmer get a fair price for cacao. In the chocolate value chain, farmers are the poorest actors. Fair trade certifies that the chocolate farmers reap the fruits of their labor.
If you are craving for chocolates, visit echostore.ph or drop by our branches at Serendra in Taguig City, Salcedo Village in Makati City, Eton Centris in Quezon City, and Podium in Mandaluyong City to try the delicious and deep-flavored snack from cacao farmers all over the Philippines.
Let’s help farmers live a sweeter life.