I have no shame in admitting that I enjoy chocolate pretty much every day. And why not? Good chocolate is an organic conglomeration of cacao (which probably lowers LDL cholesterol, has heart-health benefits, and may support the aging brain), and is packed with antioxidants and all-natural mood elevators, some sugar, and nuts, spices or fruits if the bar is flavored. And if raw, plenty of theobromine, a caffeine-like compound that will wake you up and get you going (warning: DO NOT combine coffee and raw chocolate, which will jet you into wide-eyed heart palpitation territory).
Of course, the conventional chocolate you find at the gas station is packed with sugar and processed fats and dairy, and is made with much lower levels and lower quality cacao that's definitely not organic. I think it tastes equally crummy in comparison to the real thing. So don't consider this listing of chocolate's health benefits to be an endorsement of Halloween candy and go bonkers on it — that will just leave a nasty stomach or headache behind. And plenty of calories. But there is room in a healthy diet for a bit of good chocolate every day.
Fearless chocolate (which I will freely admit is my new fave) ups the health factor of its delicious bars by using only single-source organic chocolate from Bahia, Brazil, that they inspect personally, and a proprietary process that results in a chocolate with two to three times the amount of antioxidants. They also use only "mineral-rich unrefined whole sugars" (Rapadura, which contains 50 percent less sucrose than regular sugar and is less-processed) and from the calorie count and the taste, not as much of it as is typical, even in healthier chocolate bar options.
Most importantly for me, Fearless is raw, which means that it's not heated at such a temperature that would destroy its enzymes and other healthy qualities (some of which natural health advocates suggest, but have yet to be definitively proven). All I know is that I feel really good — and never gross — after I eat a few pieces. According to Fearless' site: "Crafted with whole Raw Organic Cacao beans, Fearless chocolate is always temperature-controlled from bean to bar using water-jacketed equipment. We grind, mix, melt, and mold Fearless chocolate at temperatures under 118 F to preserve the natural nutrients, minerals, enzymes, and of course, the abundant antioxidants."
Fearless is also:
-Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth
-made with 100 percent Kosher certified ingredients in a kosher facility
I highly recommend the Super Seeds bar, which contains raw flax, chia and hemp seeds, and is a crunchy, delicious dream. There's also exploding coconut, my second fave, which reminds me of my Hawaiian travels, and the Matcha green tea and peppermint, hibiscus and ginger, and and a plain 75 percent cacao bar.