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How data is helping to create healthy chocolate

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How data is helping to create healthy chocolate

How data is helping to create healthy chocolate

While chocolate isn’t typically thought of as a healthy food, the nutritional value of chocolate is often overlooked, especially in its rawest form. Store-bought chocolate can sometimes be packed with sugar and preservatives, which lowers its nutritional value. The best type of chocolate to indulge in is definitely dark chocolate. The reason for this is that dark chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa, than milk or white chocolate, and cocoa is rich in antioxidants (polyphenols and flavanols), which helps improve concentration and mood, as well as preventing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

With this in mind, health app Lifesum decided to treat its New York-based users with a delicious (and healthy) treat. To do this, Lifesum’s nutritionist, Frida, analyzed anonymized data from 100,000 New Yorkers, to see which nutrients they were missing. The data showed that a New Yorkers’ diet was typically lacking calcium, potassium, vitamin E and zinc. Calcium is key to healthy and strong bones, potassium is essential for a feeling of calm, vitamin E promotes skin health, while zinc is key to a strong immune system. Once these nutrients have been identified, Lifesum set to work with NYC-based coffee culture chain FIKA, to come up with four unique chocolates, aimed at solving the dietary deficiencies of New Yorkers.

The following were created:

Calcium Colada, as the name suggests, is designed to boost calcium intake, which contributes to bone health and strength. Flavor-wise, it is reminiscent of a pina colada cocktail.

Ingredients: Matcha, Low fat yoghurt, Pineapple, Lime, Vanilla, Stevia, Dark chocolate 99%

The second chocolate, Raw Radiance, contains vitamin E, a fantastic antioxidant that helps to protect the body from free radicals. As well as working to prevent heart disease and to balance cholesterol, vitamin E offers a beauty boost by decreasing environmental damage to your hair, and can repair damaged skin.

Ingredients: Cashew nuts, Coconut, Salt, Dark chocolate 99%, Quinoa, Cinnamon

New Yorkers are constantly fast moving and on-the-go, which often contributes to stress. The analysis of Lifesum data revealed that residents were lacking in potassium, which is a known reliever of anxiety and stress. Cocoa Calm was created to offer a hit of potassium, and encourage relaxation.

Ingredients: Dates, Cashew nuts, Vanilla, Lime, Dark chocolate 99%

Finally, the Cleanse and Reboot chocolate is packed with zinc to support run-down immune systems, with added antioxidants from cayenne pepper and ancho chilli to elevate body temperature, which increases immune system activity.

Ingredients: Pumpkin, Low fat yogurt, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ancho chilli, Cayenne pepper, Dark chocolate 99%

Boxes of four chocolates will cost $10 + tax, and will be initially available to purchase online and at FIKA’s Tribeca café & chocolate factory.

Now New Yorkers can get healthy by eating chocolates, and also enjoy the wonderful Swedish concept of a fika, a short break that typically involves a coffee, pastry, and, most importantly, some time to relax and reflect…

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Frida Harju is the in-house nutritionist at health app Lifesum.com

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