Organic Chocolate Facts and Health Benefits
Organic chocolate is truly one of the more decadent foods on the planet, and one of the more delectable offerings on the organic market. After all, who doesn’t love the taste of chocolate? What makes it even better is that you can enjoy your favorite chocolate treats and still be healthy AND environmentally responsible!
Chocolate comes from the cacao tree, which grows and thrives mainly in tropical rain forest areas. The cacao beans are grown on organic farms in an environmentally sustainable way that doesn’t threaten the local ecosystems of these lush forests. The idea is to preserve the natural rain forest habitats while harvesting their fruits, nuts, and medicinal plants and herbs rather than subjecting these areas to deforestation for the sake of timber and lumber. This approach is also more economically viable for local farmers, in addition to being more ecologically sustainable.
So why choose organic chocolate over conventional chocolate? What makes it different?
Like other certified organic foods, the cacao grown on organic farms is produced without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other toxic chemicals. Only cotton crops use more pesticides worldwide than conventional chocolate!
It is not only the way it is grown that makes organic chocolate a better choice than its conventional counterpart. Another huge difference is the way it is sweetened and the other ingredients that are used to make organic cocoa flavored treats, sweets, and other foods.
Corn syrup is the sweetener that is most often used today in conventional food products, beverages, sweets, and of course, chocolate. Yet corn syrup is not really a food at all. It is a synthetic substance derived from genetically modified (or GMO) corn that has no nutritional value whatsoever. (For more information about corn syrup and it’s origins, please visit http://www.kingcorn.net)
Organically made chocolate, on the other hand, is often combined with dates, raisins, and other natural sweeteners such as malt syrups, brown rice syrup, and evaporated cane juice. These natural sweeteners have nutritional benefits that contribute to an overall healthy diet, without having the adverse effects upon the body that corn syrup has been shown to have.
Because of it’s health benefits, chocolate grown organically is often found in nutritional bars, super foods, and health supplements and beverages. It is frequently made with little to no sugar or sweeteners to gain the maximum health benefit; even the raw cacao beans can be eaten alone or added to health drinks. And since cacao beans have natural preservative properties of their own, it does not need to contain preservatives.
Next: Find out more about the health benefits of chocolate.
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