With the holidays having us all in a festive mood, let’s take a look at something else that can enhance our moods and our health year round! If you’ve always wanted a good excuse to indulge in mouthwatering, taste bud tantalizing chocolate today is your lucky day.
Much maligned as simply candy, chocolate actually has several health benefits if consumed properly. Feeling guilty about the secret romance you are having with this sweet diva? It’s time to open up and share with the world the benefits of this not so guilty pleasure.
Before you reach for that Snickers, remember this: While chocolate can do the body good, keep in mind that all chocolate was not created equal: Dark chocolate packs more of a health punch overall, but even the bittersweet varieties can be high in calories, fat and sugar.
According to the Huffington Post here are some of the benefits of consuming chocolate:
A 2011 Swedish study found that women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than women who treated themselves to fewer than 9 grams of the sweet stuff.
Regular chocolate eaters welcome a host of benefits for their hearts, including lower blood pressure, lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease.
Regular chocolate eaters welcome a host of benefits for their hearts, including lower blood pressure, lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease. One of the reasons dark chocolate is especially heart-healthy is its inflammation-fighting properties, which reduce cardiovascular risk
Because it's rich in fiber, dark chocolate can actually help keep you full, so you'll eat less
Forget what you've heard about chocolate causing breakouts: Dark chocolate is actually good for your skin. The type of antioxidants called flavonoids found in dark chocolate offer some protection from UV damage from the sun.
Cocoa has anti-clotting, blood-thinning properties that work in a similar way to aspirin which can improve blood flow and circulation.
While the western palate prefers milk chocolate, dark chocolate provides many more healthy properties while being much lower in sugar which is linked to diabetes, weight gain and obesity and heart disease. When looking for dark chocolate the high Cocoa percentage the more health benefits it packs. I prefer 86% as it contains less sugar, little to no dairy and has an incredible cocoa flavor.
Dark chocolate also helps control blood sugar, is full of cancer and heart disease fighting antioxidants and is good for your brain, mood and heart.
With all the benefits to chocolate, dark chocolate in particular what’s not to love? I LOVE dark chocolate and my favorite way to eat it is to dip a couple squares into May’s homemade Cajun (sugar free) peanut butter!
HERE’S TO BEING FIT FOR LIFE!
Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer and exercise and endurance enthusiast. He competes yearly in numerous running races, marathons, ultra marathons, triathlons and other endurance events.