Ancient Ingredients, Modern Superpowers: Dark Chocolate Edition
Dear Kosterina Family,
If you're like me, dark chocolate may feel like a 'guilty pleasure' - but did you know that it's packed with antioxidants that are vital to strengthening your brain health, immune system and even lowering cholesteral?
If you've been part of our family for a little while, you may remember a blog series that we wrote called Ancient Ingredients, Modern Superpowers. In it, we uncovered the extraordinary superpowers of staple ingredients in the Mediterranean diet, from grapes to mastiha.
We're excited to return and dive into the research behind one of our favorite superfoods at Kosterina for health, happiness and longevity: dark chocolate.
Where does dark chocolate come from?
Dark chocolate has been a staple in human diets since 2000 BC. The ancient Mayans actually incorporated it into drinks like teas and wine for its health benefits. It was also used in ceremonial rituals in what is now South America given its healing powers. It wasn't until the 1500s that dark chocolate was turned into the solid form we know it as today.
What makes dark chocolate so special?
Besides it's proven health benefits, dark chocolate is extremely versatile. In its natural form, dark chocolate starts out as a seed encased in something called a cacao pod. From there, it is dried, roasted, fermented and can be turned into everything from cacao butter to cocoa powder.
What are the health benefits?
Dark chocolate has so many health benefits, it's hard to note them all down! Most importantly, like EVOO, it is packed with tons of antioxidants and minerals that reduce inflammation and aging in the body. There are also studies that show eating dark chocolate regularly can decrease blood pressure and heart disease, as well as prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.
How can I use it in my everyday?
Dark chocolate tastes so good, it won't be difficult to incorporate into your everyday. At Kosterina, we especially love our dark chocolate bars - like the Fig & Balsamic EVOO - because each of the superfoods enhances the power of dark chocolate. We love combining them into our breakfast and dessert.
Did you know the superpowers behind dark chocolate? What's your favorite way to incorporate it into your everyday?