The more processed foods are, the less healthy they become.
Chocolate is no exception. The healthy bit in chocolate is from the cacao bean used to make chocolate chocolatey.
Cacao has lots of flavonoids and polyphonys. These are great compounds found in plants, and they are involved with inflammatory regulators in our bodies.
They can help reduce blood pressure and improve your cholesterol profile reducing LDL and increasing HDL cholesterol.
They might even be helpful with insulin sensitivity, so that means they may even play a role in better blood glucose control.
Another thing they can do is improve blood flow to the brain and this can help with feeling good and focusing on everyday tasks.
Flavanols are also implicated in some studies to help reduce your risk of cancer and cacao is one of the foods highest in flavanol content. It’s also high in potassium, something we need and often lack, so all in all it seems chocolate might be good for you.
That said, let’s remember processed food is not good for you.
A Snickers bar is not going to give you many of the benefits cacao offers. Highly processed chocolates like this are higher in sugar, unhealthy fats and calories.
Here’s how to get the benefits of cacao without eating horrible, all be it tasty chocolates.
Choose dark chocolate with at least 75% cacao stated on the label. Read the ingredients and look for a short list with low amounts of natural added sugar and no highly processed oils added, like rapeseed or vegetable oil.
The darker the better and the less added ingredients the better.
If you want some added richness to your protein shakes or smoothies, add 100% cocoa powder, or you could mix some into your favourite breakfast, things like porridge or a granola and yogurt bowl. Get creative and enjoy some chocolate in your life!!
Oh and Easter Eggs of course!
Happy Easter my lovely people, enjoy it, eat some chocolate, and have fun! I will.
If you want to lose weight, become fitter or live a more healthy life then do get in touch with Andrew Louro – our Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach on 020 8316 5316.