Chocolate Covered Apricots - How Healthy is it?

Chocolate covered apricots are a timeless, delicious way to consume chocolate and fruit.

But that’s not all: the chocolate/fruit combo has the potential to be incredibly nutritious as well! It all depends on how it is made and whether there are any additional ingredients. Some of these added ingredients make absorbing its nutrients harder for the body.


ADDITIVES IN CHOCOLATE

So you can see at this point how far the cocoa evolved from its original state into lots of rich, stimulating flavors but empty-calorie chocolate products to please the “refined” western palate and capitalism through heavy processing and addition of sugar and dairy. But now, health-conscious consumers are beginning to seek out chocolate in a less processed form with low to no sugar and dairy so that they can savor chocolate closer to its origin and to take advantage of its health benefits.

ADDITIVES IN CHOCOLATE COVERED APRICOTS

Before enrobing with chocolate, there are lots of dried fruits on the market that contain one or more of the following- added sugar (candied fruits keep longer, softer, and moist without water), sulfur dioxide (another common preservative that I’m allergic to), synthetic colorants, However, these ingredients have one other purpose aside from taste and preservation: volume. Some of these ingredients are cheaper by the volume and for large corporations where profit is prioritized over health or integrity and is a win for them, not so much for us.


CHOCOLATE BENEFITS

Consumption of dark chocolate was found to dilate the coronary arteries and improve blood-flow in a double-blind randomized test. The test subjects put their hands in ice water. Whereas otherwise, the arteries would constrict from the icy cold water, the results from dark chocolate consumption had the opposite effect! Chocolate’s high contents of antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary minerals was put to the test for bone health and osteoporosis and though it didn’t have much affect on postmenopausal women, youths consuming chocolate showed signs of supporting bone health. All of these studies emphasized the correlation of fat, sugar, and dairy interfering with the body's ability to absorb and benefit from chocolate’s health advantages. The high antioxidant contents in chocolate in the form of polyphenol may contribute to improvement in heart health.

APRICOT BENEFITS

Apricots are high in dietary fiber, heart-healthy carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that fight the free radicals in your body and may help fight against ocular diseases. Apricots are a great source of iron and copper for combat anemia and iron deficiency.

Sugar and dairy both reverse the health benefits of the fruits and chocolate. To reap all these benefits, the chocolate has to be low or free of sugar and fat, and fruits without added sugar.

There is no such a thing, is there? Or is it just a fantasy? One might wonder.

“Actually, there is.” you’d hear my voice blowing in the wind.

“Sweetduet.”

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by Annie Woo

September 27, 2020

Published by Sweetduet Chocolate

 

Citations

History of Chocolate
https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-americas/history-of-chocolate

Bernstein PS, Li B, Vachali PP, Gorusupudi A, Shyam R, Henriksen BS, Nolan JM. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin: The basic and clinical science underlying carotenoid-based nutritional interventions against ocular disease. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2016 Jan;50:34-66. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2015.10.003. Epub 2015 Nov 2. PMID: 26541886; PMCID: PMC4698241.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26541886/

Seem SA, Yuan YV, Tou JC. Chocolate and chocolate constituents influence bone health and osteoporosis risk. Nutrition. 2019;65:74-84. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2019.02.011 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31029926/

Gammone MA, Riccioni G, D'Orazio N. Carotenoids: potential allies of cardiovascular health? Food Nutr Res. 2015 Feb 6;59:26762. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v59.26762. PMID: 25660385; PMCID: PMC4321000. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25660385/

Mares J. Lutein and Zeaxanthin Isomers in Eye Health and Disease. Annu Rev Nutr. 2016 Jul 17;36:571-602. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071715-051110. PMID: 27431371; PMCID: PMC5611842. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27431371/


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