7 Benefits of Chocolate and Guilt-Free Recipes to Try!

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Since we were young, up to our teenage days and even in our midlife years, chocolates seem to outrank diamonds for “the woman’s best friend” title! ?

This yummy, mood-boosting goodness is indeed IRRESISTIBLE. I literally don’t even know anyone who hates chocolates! Little did we know that chocolates are actually more than just a huge bang of sweetness… They also bring a burst of health benefits in midlife! ?

Yup, to some of you, I may have sounded a little silly for saying that. The popular belief is chocolates are “too sweet” — which makes them bad for our health.

Well, chocolates only become unhealthy if you’re consuming the ones that are too sweet or commercialized! Grab the rawest or naturally made and your health will remain in tiptop condition!

Read on and be filled with sweet facts about chocolates!

7 Benefits of Chocolate and Guilt-Free Recipes to Try!

The Difference Between Cocoa Powder and Cacao Powder

Perhaps, just as everybody loves chocolates, we all know that they came from cacao. But what makes cacao powder different from cocoa? ?

Some of you might be just as surprised as I was to know that they are not the same!

Generally, both cocoa and cacao start out as the same beans from the cacao plant. Their differences only come in when they are processed into their powder form!

Here’s how they differ from each other:

Cocoa powder is done when the beans are processed at a much higher temperature. The beans are not only fermented but also roasted. Without further processing, cocoa is naturally acidic in taste. The finely ground and sifted product is commonly sold and labeled as “natural cocoa”. However, cocoa may lack nutrients due to the additional heating, compared to cacao powder!

Cacao beans are processed at low temperatures and are considered raw. It only involves the fermentation process. Once cacao is milled into powder, it contains much higher amounts of enzymes, minerals and nutrients. As a result, the taste is more bitter than cocoa powder, but offers more natural and nutritional content!

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7 Health Benefits of Cacao for Menopause

The top nutrients you can get from cacao are iron, calcium and magnesium. Apparently, these nutrients are vital for midlife health! Aside from that, here are more facts to convince you how beneficial cacao is!

1. The antioxidant properties in cacao can help prevent fatigue, oxidative stress and premature aging! If you aim to lose weight, you can also take advantage of these natural properties from cacao. It won’t let you down!

2. As testified by almost every living woman, chocolate makes people happy. It’s not just the taste but the substances present in cacao that can elevate someone’s mood! You will literally (and chemically) get a natural boost of happiness… and that sounds really perfect for midlife mood swings!

Discover more ways to deal with mood swings in menopause through our article here!? 9 Good Ways to Deal with Menopausal Mood Swings!

9 Good Ways to Deal with Menopausal Mood Swings

3. You can also embrace cacao for more effective skincare! Cacao can improve blood flow, promote cell regeneration and keep your skin glowing! Well, kudos again to the antioxidant properties of cacao.

4. Cacao contains fiber too. This can reduce the risk and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive problems in menopause. What a delightful way to promote better digestion and gut health in midlife, isn’t it?

If you’re seeking more ways to get rid of that “uncomfortable gut feeling”, we got an article about natural remedies for irritable bowel syndrome!?Heal the Gut – Natural Remedies for IBS that Work!

5. For your dental health, cacao can serve you well with its antibacterial agents! These little armies can help combat plaque and tooth decay as we age!

6. There is a specific substance present in cacao called “epicatechin”. This substance promotes brain health in menopause by improving blood flow, cognitive function and thinking processes! This Epicatechin may also reduce the risk of dementia and other diseases related to poor brain health!

7. Cacao intake improves the elasticity of blood vessels. This can potentially lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol present in our body!

You can find a big, unexpected dose of happiness from a small piece of chocolate!
Go for dark chocolates to make sure you stay healthy!

You can find a big, unexpected dose of happiness from a small piece of chocolate!
Go for dark chocolates to make sure you stay healthy!

“What’s the healthiest type of chocolate for menopause?

Commercial milk chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, milk and small quantities of cacao. In contrast, dark chocolate has much larger amounts of cacao.

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Dark chocolate with higher percentages of raw cacao typically contains less sugar and more fat. More cacao also means more antioxidants, so it is best to choose dark chocolate! ?

Guilt-Free Chocolate Recipes You Can Enjoy in Menopause

Now that you have a clearer picture of cacao’s incredible health benefits for midlife health, why not try these healthy recipes? ?

  1. KETO FAT BOMBS [The Easy Way To Make Keto Fat Bombs]

2. KETO CHOCOLATE COCONUT FAT BOMBS [Keto Chocolate Coconut Fat Bombs Recipe]

3. CACAO AND ALMOND ENERGY BALLS [Deliciously Ella – Cacao & Almond Energy Balls]

I always keep some homemade made cacao balls in my fridge. Whenever I want a little treat, I can just grab a few without second thoughts and still make sure I’m making the right choice! ? I mix them up with dates, coconut oil, coconut flakes and raw cacao. Sometimes, I add some maca, ashwagandha or any superfood that I know can give me an extra nutrition boost!

I also have chocolates at home, and it’s surprising how a small piece can go a looong way. Remember to go for the ones with high cacao content — 70% and up! I usually go for Lindt Chocolate. Oh, it tastes like heaven… The unique taste lies in carefully selecting and blending premium cocoa beans from the world’s most exclusive regions!

These are definitely satisfying little treats that can bring big happiness. ?

I’m also a huge fan of cacao tea! YES, IT EXISTS. A tea and chocolate fix in one! ? It contains antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that would serve your midlife health right! If you are both a tea and a chocolate lover and if you’re keeping an eye on your health, cacao tea is certainly something to keep!


A very distinct stage in cocoa bean processing is treating the beans with “alkali”. This process results in the famous cocoa powder called “Dutch-processed”!

Dutch-processed cocoa powder is less acidic, darker and has a milder flavor. On the other hand, natural cocoa is acidic, lighter in color and has a stronger flavor.

Because of the chemical process involved in obtaining the Dutch-processed cocoa, it behaves differently while cooked. Since it has a neutral pH, it will stop the batter from rising when combined with baking soda — keeping it moist and fudgy! When cooking with natural cocoa, its acidic quality allows the batter to rise, resulting in airier but drier baked goods!

This is partially why professional chefs recommend Dutch-processed cocoa for desserts that don’t require baking and natural cocoa for products that do! ?


Midlife can be surprising, like a box full of chocolates — you never know what you’ll get!

Apparently, chocolates can offer promising benefits for our health, but moderation is still important. One or two pieces a day is enough for that sweet tooth!

Never forget that there is a vast option of solutions and alternatives out there to manage menopause better! Your journey lies in the palm of your hands, the decisions you make, the lifestyle you live and the food you eat. Live wisely! ?

We would love to hear your thoughts so feel free to add your comments below

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Gita is the founder of My Menopause Journey. Since 2014, she has been supporting midlife women by sharing hard-earned learnings from her own experience. To advance her knowledge, Gita puts a lot of her time and effort into understanding the broad spectrum of women’s health. She immerses in extensive research about the physical, mental and emotional aspects of menopause. Gita believes in the life-changing power of healthy, holistic living — this is where she anchors her message to all women. Learn more about her marvelous mission in About us - My Menopause Journey.

2 thoughts on “7 Benefits of Chocolate and Guilt-Free Recipes to Try!”

  1. Hi Gita,
    I love chocolate, especially really dark chocolate, but I’m sleeping worse since my perimenopause began and I wonder if it could be related to eating chocolate in the evening. What do you think?

    1. Hi Vivian,

      Thank you for reaching out and I’m sorry for the late reply.

      Dark chocolate is also my go-to after dinner! It’s a fantastic treat for its rich magnesium content. Make sure to go for chocolates with at least 70% cocoa to enjoy maximum benefits!

      Typically, stress is the most common cause of sleep problems in perimenopause. However, eating chocolate at night can also potentially keep you awake. Some chocolate types contain caffeine and “theobromine” — which can both increase heart rate and cause sleeplessness. Try to avoid chocolates at night and see if your sleep quality improves! If it still doesn’t, then you must look for the root cause of your sleep problem and take it from there! ?

      If you haven´t already read my articles that address these symptoms, here are some links you can check!

      16 Natural Solutions for Sleep Deprivation During Menopause
      10 Ways How to Deal With Stress During Menopause
      7 Natural Ways to Treat Adrenal Fatigue and Heal Your Adrenals!

      Allt the best!
      Gita ♥

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