When people find out what I do, they automatically assume that I eat fruits and vegetables all day. While I am a big fan of produce, my favorite food group is chocolate (because who can resist an amazing cup of hot chocolate?). My friends and family would attest to this fact, having observed me many a time with my eyes closed, happily indulging in a decadent chocolate dessert.
The important thing to keep in mind is not all dark chocolate is created equal. Kennedy explains that what people typically think of when they hear “dark chocolate” has little, if any, resemblance to cacao in its natural form and as a result does not contain the previously mentioned health benefits.
That’s why it’s key to look for dark chocolate “with at least 60 percent cacao,” she says. This will not only help guarantee that you are getting a rich source of antioxidants, but also ensure you get fewer additives, such as cream and sugar, which can have the opposite desired effect on your health and waistline.
Here are some of our favorites to start with:

Chocolate Tidbits

With all the ways to enjoy chocolate, many people don’t realize that chocolate comes from a plant. That’s right, a plant! Now no, this does not mean that chocolate is equivalent to salad (as much as we may wish).
Chocolate comes from the bitter seeds of the cacao tree. The seeds are fermented, dried and roasted, helping to make their flavor more pronounced. The shell is removed and then the cacao nibs inside are ground into cocoa powder. Since cocoa by itself is pretty bitter, it is usually mixed with different ingredients (i.e. butter, milk, and sugar) to make the chocolate you buy from the store.

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Forest Mint 72%

If you’re looking to stay healthy and help a good cause at the same time, this is the chocolate bar for you. Endangered Species Fair Trade Dark Chocolate produces delicious, ethically traded, organic, gluten-free chocolate — and 10 percent of all proceeds are donated to wildlife conservation charities. Try the Forest Mint for a refreshing kick to your decadent chocolate.

Pure7 Dark Chocolate Bar 100%

Ready to go all out? With a whopping 100 percent cacao, Pure7’s complete chocolate bar takes organic to another level. Thrive reviewers say that this bar isn’t as bitter as you might expect from a 100 percent bar. One reviewer even pointed out that it’s “great for baking.”

Madécasse Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa

Madécasse chocolate got its start in 2008, from a pair of Peace Corps volunteers teaching English in Madagascar. Upon realizing that more than 70 percent of the world’s cacao comes from Africa but less than 1 percent of the world’s chocolate is actually made there, Madécasse’s founders resolved to change that. If that fact isn’t enough to get you to take a bite, the flavor of their bars just might: In pairing fruit and chocolate, the company’s goal is to transport you to the beaches of Madagascar.

Theo Chocolate Organic Dark Chocolate 85%

Since 2006, Theo Chocolate has been producing sustainable, fair trade, organic chocolate. Its original dark chocolate bar keeps it simple with only three ingredients: cocoa beans, sugar, and vanilla beans. Its minimalist and organic approach is what makes this bar so reliably healthy but also deliciously rich and satisfying.

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