Enjoying chocolate at Easter is an unavoidable tradition. Black, white or milk chocolate, how do you prefer it? With 70% or 100% cocoa? Let's take stock of all the names. 

5, things, to, know, about, chocolate

Gourmands know that not all chocolates are the same. One thing is certain: this delicacy has been enjoyed since the dawn of time. The oldest evidence of the use of cocoa beans dates back to between 1100 and 1400 BC in Latin America.

1. White chocolate does not contain cocoa

Not everyone is chocolate. "Chocolate", "milk chocolate Each one has a strictly regulated composition, with very different percentages of cocoa depending on the type of product.

  • Black chocolate contains a mixture of sugar and at least 35% cocoa, of which at least 18% is cocoa butter.
  •  Milk chocolate contains at least 25% cocoa paste and cocoa butter, as well as milk, usually in powder form, and sugars.
  • White chocolate is made exclusively from cocoa butter, so it is cocoa-free. It also contains dairy products, sugar and usually vanilla flavoring.
  • The cocoa paste or cocoa butter is extracted from the fermented cocoa bean, then roasted and ground.

2. Cocoa is good for your health

Antioxidant, good for the morale... the most greedy do not fail to highlight the health benefits of chocolate. Yes, but to benefit from it, you have to look at its cocoa content. The higher it is, the greater the antioxidant action of chocolate: the protective polyphenols come from the cocoa bean. The same goes for the anti-stress minerals (magnesium, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc, iron). 

Rich in powerful antioxidants

Flavonols, one of the polyphenol families, are powerful antioxidants that have an anti-inflammatory action. The antioxidant action of the cocoa bean is even superior to that of other plants.

Thanks to its flavonols, cocoa has a vasodilator effect. By promoting the dilation of blood vessels, it contributes to lowering blood pressure. 

Good for cardiovascular health and cognitive function

These different combined effects of cocoa, antioxidant and vasodilator, help to reduce the cardiovascular risk (heart attack, stroke, cholesterol...).

The beneficial action of flavonol on blood vessels is also favorable to the good functioning of the brain. Beneficial to cardiovascular health, cocoa also acts on the cognitive function, by stimulating the memory.

An anti-stress food

Chocolate provides magnesium and serotonin, two elements involved in psychological well-being. It does not have the power of an antidepressant drug, but it helps to resist stress and to find a feeling of relaxation. Unsweetened cocoa powder contains on average more than 500 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams of product. The richer the chocolate is in cocoa, the more it fights against stress and improves the mood.

   The French Association of Dietitians and Nutritionists (AFDN) confirms the importance of the cocoa content: "To take full advantage of the nutritional benefits of chocolate, it should be chosen dark, and as rich as possible in cocoa (at least 70%). "

Consequence that will not please fans of white chocolate: containing only cocoa butter, it has none of the health benefits attributed to "real" chocolate, the one containing cocoa.

3. Chocolate is still a caloric food

Because chocolate contains sugar and fat, it should be eaten in moderation: 20 g maximum per day, i.e. two squares.

Its caloric intake is important: about 500 calories for 100 g.

4. There is an unroasted chocolate: raw chocolate

It has been in the news for a few years now, it is raw chocolate. The cocoa bean is not roasted, but simply crushed. The manufacturing process is done at low temperature (less than 45°C), which allows to keep all the nutritional qualities of cocoa.

The result is a much stronger taste and a very different texture. Less chewy, but more crunchy.

You can find it in the form of small bars (the equivalent of three squares) in organic stores and delicatessens.

5. Chocolate confectionery is not "real" chocolate

You have understood it, in the "real" chocolate, there is cocoa (at least 25%). Bars, candies, dragees... all these chocolate confectioneries, which children like so much, contain very little cocoa, but are full of sugar and vegetable fats rich in saturated fatty acids.