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Make sure you get the good stuff
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Published: 20 April 2015
This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod
Just in case your cravings for chocolate weren’t quite sated over Easter (or have come back since), here’s some help with picking out the good from the bad.
Yep, that’s right: some chocolate is actually good for you.
Food of the gods
Cocoa beans come from the Theobroma cacao tree, which translates to ‘food of the gods’. The fermented, dried seeds of the cacao tree are the main good-for-you ingredient in chocolate.
These beans – also the main ingredient of a drink enjoyed by the Aztecs – are considered a superfood; they contain over 300 compounds including protein, fat, carbohydrates, fibre, iron, zinc, copper, calcium and magnesium. They’re full of antioxidant properties as well as ‘feel good’ hormones.
The feel-good factor
One of the many ‘bliss’ chemicals found in chocolate is the lipid anandamide, which is also known as ‘chocolate amphetamine’. It causes changes in blood pressure and blood-sugar levels, leading to feelings of excitement and alertness. Some people also consider cocoa beans to be Nature’s anti-depressant.
So eating dark chocolate – in small doses – can actually be good for you!
72% cocoa is recommended and the top organic and fair trade quality is a must for the best taste and health benefits.
Chocolate and the skin
Because cocoa is high in antioxidants such as Vitamin E, it contains fantastic anti-ageing properties that fight the activity of free radicals on your skin, helping to keep your skin looking supple and young.
The Grococo project
The organic cocoa in Inlight’s Chocolate Face Mask is from the Grococo project, in partnership with the Grenada Chocolate Company (GCC) and Rococo Chocolates.
In 2004, Hurricane Ivan hit Grenada – the island home of the GCC. Hurricane Emily arrived less than a year later, devastating all the cocoa and nutmeg on the island. It would be five years before the next really good harvest.
Rococo was determined to help, so it used the chocolate that had been in the Macintyre conch when Hurricane Emily hit and mixed it with its own organic chocolate.
The result was the special edition ‘Hurricane Emily Bar’, the proceeds of which went to ‘Hearts and Hands,’ the Grenada Relief Fund.
Rococo has continued to support the GCC ever since – most notably using funds from the first Grococo bar to help build the new solar driers for the GCC at Belmont Estate and, most recently, by building a bridge across the river to the Grococo farm.
In 2007, Rococo was able to team up with the GCC and purchase a small cocoa farm, which presented a perfect opportunity to produce its own fairly traded and ethical chocolate.
The small plot of land called Grococo is now the ‘home farm’ that supplies 100% of its harvest of organic Trinitario cocoa beans to the GCC. It’s also one of the founding farms that make up The Grenada Organic Cocoa Farmers’ Cooperative.
The Inlight team has known Chantal Coady, the ‘amazing and inspiring heart’ behind Rococo for some time now, so choosing the company’s organic cocoa for the face mask was ‘a no-brainer’.