Chocolate has gained a bad name for itself, particularly among the dieting industry. Chocolate is associated with weight gain, diabetes and heart disease! This all sounds particularly gruesome and not so appealing. However, this association is due to the processing of chocolate into the candied, milky sweet that most of us think of today as chocolate.
However, in it's purer form, chocolate has been found to have many potential health benefits! We looked into some studies to find out what scientists are telling us about chocolate. Here's the results:
A study found here, has suggested that dark chocolate, which has a high percentage of cacao, has a plentiful supply of minerals and is rich in anti-oxidants. These prevent against cell damage and thus assist in preventing various 'degenerative diseases', meaning those that come with ageing. This study also showed an increase in bone health for young adults regularly consuming high quality cacao products.
Some studies are linking consumption of dark chocolate to improved heart health! Here daily intake was linked to positive effects on the cardiovascular system of young, healthy adults. This was looking at long-term use of high-cacao chocolate! What a great reason to indulge in your favourite 80% cacao chocolate bar!
If you think smart is sexy, this could be another reason to include cacao in your diet. Here it is considered that there may even be a correlation between eating dark, low-sugar chocolates and improved cognitive (brain) performance. Now that's food for thought!
Regular consumption of cacao-rich chocolate has also been linked to digestive benefits! An increase of prebiotics in the gut was reported due to dark chocolate consumption, during trials in this study. Prebiotics promote an increase in healthy gut bacteria, these aid good digestion. That seems like good news! Happy taste buds AND a happy belly!
In summary, dark chocolate, which is low in sugar and high in cacao content, has many potential health benefits unlike it's sugary, milky counterpart most commonly consumed as a treat.
Dark chocolate is an excellent way to still get your cacao fix and indulge in some tasty treats, without consuming high amounts of sugar and other detrimental additives.
Enjoy your dark chocolate in moderation. Having a handful of nuts with your chocolate may benefit in making your snack more filling, preventing you from over-indulging. Cacao may also be enjoyed in a rich, low-sugar hot-chocolate or how about adding cacao to your banana smoothie!
This health guide is unapologetically different to other health programs and books that you will find out there. This is because we refuse to adhere to the practice of flimsy, quick fixes and the marketing of false promises that go with this. Instead this guide delves into the core principals that will dictate long-term success in a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle.