Why Dark Chocolate Is The Ultimate Brain Food
Cacao (not to be confused with cocoa) in its rawest form, is packed full of antioxidants and magnesium. Understood to release endorphins which have been linked to reduce stress and anxiety, there’s some truth behind chocolate being a comfort food—and quite frankly, you don’t need to tell us twice!
Numerous studies have suggested that cacao has significant effects on things like cognition and mood. Lucky for us, dark chocolate is just one of those foods that work to naturally boost endorphin levels (read: a happier you!) and thanks to the flavonoids found in cacao, it’s a double whammy. These compounds are understood to help boost memory, attention and problem-solving skills by increasing blood flow to the brain.
What’s more is that our brains use a great deal of oxygen, making them highly susceptible to free radical damage. In this way, antioxidants (such as those found in dark chocolate) help protect brain cells and fight inflammation.
When choosing a healthy dark chocolate, be sure to look out for the following points to ensure you're getting the best of the best, as clever marketing tactics and fancy packaging can be quite deceiving:
- A cacao or cocoa content of at least 70%
- Cacao (or cocoa) listed as the first ingredient as ingredients are always listed in descending order of quantity
- Minimal ingredients list
- Less than 4g of sugar per 20g serve (or two squares)
- Organic, sustainable and fair trade where possible
- Nuts as an added nutritional bonus!
Opt for cacao when you can (it’s the least processed option, made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans) and is incredibly nutrient-dense—rich in antioxidants as well as magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc, just to name a few!
Here’s some of our favourite dark chocolate picks, all of which you'll find in the June Brainfood Box!
Deva Raw Chocolate
Made from quality ingredients naturally free of dairy, gluten, soy, artificial colours, preservatives AND GMO-friendly, Deva Raw Chocolate is tempered (a process whereby chocolate is heated and cooled at precise temperatures to achieve optimum texture) and is sweetened with 100% raw Australian honey. Their packaging is also certified compostable which is an added bonus!
Ah, how we love a short ingredients list! The Chow Cacao Toasted Coconut flavour which you'll find in the June Brain Food Box only consists of:
Raw Cacao 65% (Nibs, Butter)*, Coconut Sugar*, Toasted Coconut*, Himalayan Salt
Yep! We love how they use simple, whole, vegan and organic ingredients and offer a variety of nostalgic childhood fave flavours including orange jaffa, chewy raspberry and crunchy mint. Their eco-friendly packaging is also 100% plant-based and compostable... printed with soy inks. How cool is that?! Find it over on the GoodnessMe Shop!
Peak Chocolate Focus Bar
Made from high quality dark chocolate and a blend of natural nootropics including Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Green Tea Extract and Ginkgo Biloba along with natural caffeine and B Vitamins, this chocolate bar contains all the right ingredients to help boost your mental clarity.
Nutra Organics Lover’s Latte
Containing stimulating herbs, natural mood-boosters and libido-loving ingredients such as Maca, Damiana, Horny goat weed and Tribulus, cacao and carob come together to create a rich, creamy and indulgent chocolate also rich in antioxidants. With no added sugar and sweetened naturally with monk fruit, this is the perfect option to cosy up. Find this and more Nutra Organics over on the GoodnessMe Shop!
ATP Noway Hot Chocolate
An indulgent hot chocolate with only 1.5g sugar per serve, it contains brain-loving MCT oil (which is easily absorbed and transported through the body and used as an instant source of energy and fuel), magnesium for max relaxation benefits and collagen protein peptides for healthy hair, skin and nails. It's also high in protein, dairy-free and GMO friendly.
Find these fab chocolate finds and more in the June Brainfood Box!