Super Chocolate!

Posted: Thursday, 1 March 2012 by Strength&Nutrition24/7 in Labels:

Why didn’t the prison allow the prisoners to eat chocolate? Because they were scared they would break out!
For starters let’s throw this myth away chocolate does not cause acne. Rather, acne is usually cause by one or a combination of three things
  • Hygiene
  • Nutrition (often not enough vitamin A and healthy fats)
  • Hormones going crazy

Chocolate has been put in the junk food category for a long time. However, recent research has been unveiling exciting news about the health benefits of chocolate. In Dr. Jonny Bowden’s book, “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,” and M.S, R.D. Tonia Reinhard’s book “Super Foods the Healthiest Foods on the Planet,” state the following benefits of dark chocolate:

  • 100 g of cocoa-rich chocolate (70+%) reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (the number one killer in North America) by 21%
  • Cocoa contains flavonoids (which are also found in foods such as cranberries, apples, strawberries, onions and tea) this is important in protecting against environmental toxins 
  • Cocoa contains flavanols this prevents arteries from clogging and therefore reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke
  • Cocoa contains magnesium which is important for heart health
  • Cocoa flavanols also modulate nitric oxide which is critical for blood flow and healthy blood pressure (very important for general population and athletes)
  • Cocoa improves insulin sensitivity which helps avoid diabetes and high cholesterol
  • Before you get to excited and run out of the store with bags full of chocolate bars, it is important to note that most chocolate bars are not healthy alternatives and are simply an occasional treat. They should not be consumed in abundance!
This being said, chocolate can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy eating plan. In order to gain these amazing benefits from chocolate, the trick is for you to find a chocolate bar that has a high percentage of cocoa and minimal amounts of other ingredients. It is recommended that the chocolate is made up of at least 70% cocoa.

Another thing to consider these days is trying to find a chocolate that is fair trade. In theory this is supposed to help in many aspects of human rights and social justice. If you can get this, it is good to do so. However, it is usually significantly more expensive.