Xocai, a brand of dark chocolate promoted for its high antioxidant capacity, may offer several health benefits during all stages of life. Although excessive consumption of dark chocolate could theoretically harm a pregnant mother or developing fetus, expectant mothers can safely eat Xocai in moderate quantities.
Xocai chocolate during pregnancy may be beneficial to the health of the mother and unborn child. A 2008 study, published in the peer-reviewed journal “Epidemiology,” determined that chocolate may help to prevent a common and serious pregnancy complication known as preeclampsia. Women who ate chocolates rich in the compound theobromine, found in abundance in Xocai, experienced lower preeclampsia rates than those who did not eat chocolate. More clinical trials are needed to confirm the findings of this pilot study.
Xocai chocolate is lower in sugar and dairy-based fats than conventional chocolate candy. The New York Times also reports that it is a more potent antioxidant, delivering far more cell protection than standard milk or dark chocolate. Nevertheless, Xocai is still relatively high in fat and sugar, and should be eaten only in reasonable moderation. Dr. Cornelia Graves, an obstetrician/gynecologist, reports that too much of any chocolate can cause excessive weight gain and spikes in blood sugar. Mothers prone to these problems should probably avoid Xocai supplements.
The March of Dimes expresses concern about the impact of caffeine on pregnancy. The organization warns that caffeine intake exceeding 200 mg daily can increase the risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications. The March of Dimes reports that an average 1.5-ounce serving of dark chocolate contains 30 mg of caffeine. A Xocai “nugget,” at about one-third this mass, likely provides about 10 mg of caffeine. Excessive consumption of Xocai could, in theory, increase the risk of miscarriage or health problems for the baby.
Expectant mothers can prevent the potential problems associated with Xocai by following specific guidelines. If Xocai is the only source of caffeine in an expectant mother’s diet, she could safely eat up to twenty nuggets daily without exceeding the March of Dimes recommended intake. Women with gestational diabetes, however, should avoid Xocai– and all other forms of chocolate– in any amount, according to Dr. Cornelia Graves. Xocai could cause an unsafe spike in blood sugar for women with this condition.
New York Times: “A Chocolate, With Amway Undertones, Networks Its Way Into New York”
BabyCenter: Is it Safe to Eat Chocolate During Pregnancy?
March of Dimes: Caffeine in Pregnancy
Epidemiology: Chocolate Consumption in Pregnancy and Reduced Likelihood of Preeclampsia