Properties of chocolate: types and benefits

fantásticas propiedades del chocolate

Chocolate is a delicious gourmet product that provides us with a large number of health benefits. Among the properties of chocolate that stand out are those related to strengthening our heart and the large amount of antioxidants it contains. In addition, it is a very versatile product that can be eaten on its own or in the preparation of a large number of desserts. However, it has some criticisms due to its high calorific value, so we must be careful with its excessive consumption.


  1. Chocolate
  2. How chocolate is obtained
  3. Medicinal properties of chocolate
  4. Properties of milk chocolate
  5. Properties of unsweetened chocolate

Summary: Chocolate, a fantastic food to add to our diet and take advantage of all the properties of chocolate. In our shop in Las Rozas in Madrid or in our online shop you will be able to buy exquisite handmade chocolates: chocolates 99, 90 and 70% caco, without sugar, with hazelnuts and almonds, and nougat with chocolate.

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1. Chocolate

Chocolate is a food obtained by mixing cocoa paste, cocoa butter and sugar. Other products can be added to this mixture, such as milk and nuts, making different types of chocolate.

In our shop in Las Rozas de Madrid or in our online shop you can buy exquisite handmade chocolates: chocolates with 99, 90 and 70 % cocoa, without sugar, with hazelnuts and almonds, and nougats with chocolate.

2. How chocolate is obtained

The cocoa tree (Teobroma Cacao) produces fruits in the form of a pod with a thick bark, protecting inside about 40 cocoa beans, from which chocolate is obtained. Chocolate production begins by extracting these seeds from the fruit and leaving them to ferment for two or three days.

This fermentation is obtained by stacking the cocoa beans between banana leaves for about a week.

After fermentation, the seeds are taken somewhere sunny in order to dry them in the sun. Once dried, cleaned and selected, they are taken to cocoa-producing factories, where they continue with the chocolate-making process.

In the factory, the beans are toasted at around 150 °C and this is when the typical chocolate flavours and colour are created. Then, the beans are removed from their shells and their interior is crushed, obtaining the so-called cocoa liquor. It is at this point, where the liquor can take several paths to make different products.

To obtain the cocoa powder, the cocoa liquor is pressed, extracting the cocoa butter and leaving a solid mass called cocoa cake. The cake is pulverized, obtaining the cocoa powder. In the case of chocolate, it is the cocoa liquor.

The cocoa liquor can be mixed with sugar, milk, nuts, flavoring, lecithin, achieving different types of chocolate.

a) Composition of chocolate:

Chocolate is a very complete food from a nutritional point of view, containing carbohydrates, fat, proteins and other components such as: water, phosphorus, calcium, iron and magnesium, vitamin A and B complex vitamins.

The fat from cocoa butter consists of 35 % oleic acid, 35 % stearic acid, 25 % palmitic acid and 5 % other short-chain fatty acids.

3. Medicinal properties of chocolate

Chocolate has not long been considered a very caloric food that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. As for the fact that it is a very calorific food, it is true, but the latest research denies that chocolate causes cardiovascular diseases, but quite the opposite, as we will see below detailing all the known benefits of chocolate.

a) Source of energy:

Chocolate is a very calorific and energetic food, ideal for people who carry out a strong physical activity. Thus, for every 100 g of chocolate we eat, we contribute 500 calories to our bodies, according to the Chilean nutrition magazine published in 2007.

b) Antioxidant properties:

Chocolate is rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, antioxidants that neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals, slowing the aging of our body and rediciendo the risk of suffering degenerative diseases.

c) Benefits for the heart:

According to Heart magazine the consumption of chocolate reduces the risk of heart problems and its consumption should not be reduced in people at risk of cardiovascular disease.

d) Weight loss:

According to studies carried out at the University of California in San Diego (USA) and other studies carried out by Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of the heart disease service at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, have shown that moderate consumption of chocolate along with a healthy lifestyle reduces body weight, despite the fact that chocolate is very calorific.

Chocolate is also rich in flavonoids, which have a strong influence on cortisol production and insulin hormone sensitivity, both processes related to weight control and diabetes.

f) Cholesterol:

As chocolate contains oleic acid, it raises the good cholesterol, the HDL and lowers the so-called bad, LDL. In addition, it inhibits the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, preventing the formation of atherosclerotic plaque.

g) New research:

Chocolate is believed to have a positive effect on diabetes disease and may also have prebiotic properties in the gut, as bacteria in the gut would digest components of chocolate and its waste products would be polymer, which could have anti-inflammatory effects.

Photo 1: Sugar-free chocolate from La Superlativa brand

4. Properties of milk chocolate

The properties of milk chocolate are lower, because it has more fat and less cocoa. It is the cocoa and its antioxidants that provide most of the medicinal properties. Milk fat provides calories, saturated and trans fats in very small amounts. Therefore, we recommend always drinking chocolate with as much cocoa as possible.

In our shop in Las Rozas in Madrid you will find a wide variety of pure and natural chocolates of 70, 90 and 99 % cocoa. We also offer milk chocolate and chocolate with almonds and hazelnuts.

Discover other properties of natural products in our next article: Important characteristics of olive oil

5. Properties of sugar-free chocolate

Unsweetened chocolate will have the same properties as dark chocolate. However, the more cocoa it contains, the more properties it will have. You should also look at the sugar substitute used. The best of all would be stevia, however, there are several on the market, which in some cases does not have to be better than sugar itself.

From my point of view, the fact that a chocolate has a little sugar in it is not such a bad thing, as sugar is present in many foods, including fruit.


OBTENCIÓN Y UTILIZACIÓN DE LA MANTECA DE CACAO Melina Codini, Florencia Díaz Vélez, Marina Ghirardi, Inés Villavicencio* Properties of chocolate

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