Chocolate and Dogs Are a Dangerous Combination

If the chocolate-lovers in your life have “gone organic,” gifts of pure organic chocolate may earn you double points this holiday season. More women are choosing organic products for health and environmental reasons, and many women rank organic chocolate at the top of the list of favorite treats.

No longer reserved only forĀ polka dot mushroom chocolate bars people who “shop green,” you can find organic chocolate at your local organic food store and at websites that offer health food online. Here are a few reasons to choose chocolate when you’re picking out her organic gifts this holiday season.

Reason 1: Organic Chocolate is Good for Your Health

New research has led to surprising results on the health benefits of chocolate. In a recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health, people who eat chocolate at least three times per month live an average of one year longer. Phenols, natural substances contained in chocolate, have been shown to improve immune health, reduce the risk of cancer and promote heart health. Other analysis has found that organic chocolate has more than twice the antioxidants of red wine and more than three times more flavonoids than green tea. The health benefits of chocolate just keep piling up.

Organic chocolate has even greater benefits than traditional chocolate. Dairy, processed sugar and preservatives used in traditional chocolate are known to inhibit the body’s ability to absorb the healthy antioxidants and minerals contained in chocolate naturally. Organic chocolate provides the most health benefits per piece because it has no unnecessary ingredients.

In addition to the long-term health benefits, chocolate can also ease stress during the holidays. Rushed schedules and arriving visitors leave many busy women exhausted and irritable. Chocolate is known to increase serotonin and endorphin, feel-good chemicals in the brain that ease stress and improve mood. It also contains small amounts of caffeine and phenylethylamine, natural energy-boosting chemicals that help improve alertness.

With all the holiday activities on many women’s schedules, the last thing a woman needs is to get sick. Again, organic chocolate can save the day. Magnesium and zinc, minerals prevalent in dark chocolate, have been proven to boost the immune system and prevent illness.

Reason 2: Organic Chocolate is Better for Your Body

What puts organic chocolate even farther ahead of traditional chocolate is what it doesn’t contain. Added fat, wax, fillers, and preservatives in traditional processing offset the health benefits of chocolate. Organic chocolate gives women all the sweet indulgence of a chocolate piece without the added fat and calories that lead to weight gain. Your selection of chocolate for your organic gift will be a guilt-free holiday treat for your friend.

Wax and fillers have no nutritional value and are also added to traditional chocolate simply to increase its weight and make it go farther while using less actual chocolate. By choosing organic chocolates whenever you purchase organic foods, online or in an organic food store, you will get the most chocolate bang for your buck.

Finally, traditional chocolate often contains preservatives that may be allergenic or even cancer-causing. Some studies have shown that butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), two preservatives commonly used in traditional chocolate, may be linked to cancer, tumors, and behavioral changes in sensitive individuals.