Organic vs. Regular Choco Drink: Which is Healthier?
What are the differences between organic vs regular choco drinks?
- Free from use of chemicals and pesticides
- Quality of the cacao
- Health benefits of the choco drink
- Impact on the environment
Chocolate is undeniably one of the most enjoyable sweets you can have and its products, such as chocolate drinks, are just as enjoyable. But have you ever stopped to consider where these come from, and how they’re made?
With chocolate drinks, you have your choice of organic or non-organic products. There is plenty of debate on whether one is better than the other. However, ut there’s a lot of evidence that points to organic drinks as the healthier choice. If you’re not familiar with the differences between organic vs regular choco drinks, read on.
Free from use of chemicals and pesticides
For chocolate or any natural product to be considered organic, it must meet several strict requirements.
Organic choco drinks must not be made with cacao that was grown with artificial chemicals and pesticides. Additionally, they should not be grown using techniques such as genetic engineering, sewage sludge, and ionizing radiation. Instead, they must only be cultivated using natural farming methods and products.
This means one of the main differences between regular and organic chocolate is their exposure to potentially harmful substances. Studies show that such chemicals, when ingested, can cause cell death and increase oxidative stress — two factors that can lead to serious health conditions, such as inflammatory disorders, asthma, and even heart disease.
To avoid having harmful residues in your choco drink, the best solution is to switch to an organic brand that is guaranteed free of any adverse chemicals and substances.
Quality of the cacao
Which type of plant do you think would have better quality cacao: one that was grown quickly in a stressful environment or one that was grown slowly and naturally?
Many of the conditions in conventional cacao farms, while great at making sure harvests are fast and easy, often affect the overall quality of the harvested cacao bean. Many studies even show this is a prevalent problem for all conventionally-grown plants. They simply end up having poorer quality produce than that organic farms. Other studies found that applying chemicals to chocolate plants also affected their nutritional value, altering their phytonutrients, antioxidants, and other nutrient content.
Many regular chocolate products, including chocolate drinks, come with additives as well to improve their flavor and appeal. The most common additives are:
- High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) — This is used to sweeten the chocolate. Too much of this additive can lead to weight gain, poor nutrition, and cavities.
- Artificial flavoring and artificial coloring — These are used to create more “natural” tastes for the chocolate. However, this ingredient can trigger allergies and exacerbate inflammation.
- Paraffin — This is used to thicken chocolate, or prevent it from melting quickly.
Organic chocolate drinks can’t use these additives because of the strict regulations placed upon the organic market. They are required to be made of, at minimum, 95% organic ingredients. This means organic chocolate drinks are completely free of artificial additives and are therefore of higher quality.
Health benefits of the choco drink
Looking for a healthy drink? Thanks to their higher quality and ideal growing conditions (i.e., without harmful chemicals and farming methods), organic food tends to have higher nutritional value. Because they have higher amounts of beneficial nutrients, organic chocolate drinks offer more potent health benefits than regular chocolate drinks.
There are many potential health benefits that you can get from organic chocolate drinks. Some of them include:
- Improved brain function — this is thanks to the higher levels of flavonoids found in organic cacao.
- Improved heart health — another benefit of the high levels of flavonoids in organic chocolate products. This nutrient helps relax blood vessels, which eases the pressure on your heart and allows for healthier blood flow.
- Lowers risk of diabetes — the lack of artificial additives like (HFCS) means you can enjoy a cup of organic choco without worrying about the sugar. And, the flavonoids in this drink can also increase insulin sensitivity, which is great for those at risk of diabetes.
- Potent nutrition — Aside from flavonoids, organic chocolate drinks carry various nutrients. This includes iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, and more, which all play important roles in your overall health.
- Increased antioxidant content — antioxidants are crucial for keeping inflammation at bay and protecting your cell health. Organic chocolate drinks are a good source of healthful antioxidants.
- Better mood — organic chocolate contains many great neurochemicals, such as anandamide, which help decrease stress and improve your mood.
These are just a few examples of the benefits you can get from an organic chocolate drink.
On the other hand, traditionally-made chocolate drinks just don’t have the same nutrient content that organic chocolate drinks have. So, they may not provide the same health benefits. And if they do, they don’t do it at the same potency as organic drinks do.
Impact on the environment
Conventionally farmed cacao is harmful to the environment. It is second to cotton in terms of how many artificial and toxic chemicals it uses. This means that producing regular chocolate wrecks havoc on the environment, as these chemicals seep into the dirt, plants, and water in the surrounding area.
These chemicals affect the delicate ecosystem as well, potentially killing other plants, insects, and animal species. What’s left are aggressive, invasive species whose populations increase rapidly without competition. The same chemicals also damage the soil, essentially leeching it of all the nutrients and minerals plants need to grow well. This leads to a vicious cycle in which the crops, the farmers, and the environment all lose.
In comparison, cocoa plants grown on organic farms are cultivated using gentler, slower methods. They’re grown on small-scale farms with companion plants such as guava and mango trees. This means there is increased biodiversity on each farm, which benefits both the environment. It also benefits the farmer, as they can use these companion plants for more food or income.
It’s important to make informed decisions about the food we buy because it affects not only our health but the health of the environment. And, when it comes to quality, taste, and impact, the choice between organic vs regular choco drinks is clear.
Organic chocolate drinks like Bona Vita’s 8-in-1 Choco are the best choice for satisfying your cravings, improving your health, and making a positive impact on the environment!