Updated: Sep 12, 2020
Who doesn't like chocolate??
However, it really does depend of course on the amount and the type of chocolate consumed! Did you know that the average person will get through just under a stone in weight of chocolate per year!!!! So by making just a few little tweaks to your sweet treat intake will undoubtedly improve your health and help you to lose weight (if that is one of your goals).
Now I never did like dark chocolate (or coffee for that matter) but when I realised it could help me achieve my goals I decided to persevere! I can attest to liking both in moderation and they certainly have made my weight-loss journey easier!
So I'm afraid milk chocolate is not what I am talking about here. You will need to look at the cacao content and aim for a minimum of 70% for starters. As your palate becomes acclimatised you can venture higher to 80-85% cacao. Aim for organic where possible to ensure you are getting a product that still has its nutrient and antioxidant qualities intact.
Here are some of the benefits this little switch will afford you in mind and body and help you to drop some excess pounds:
More clarity and focus
Studies have shown that flavenols found in dark chocolate (and red wine...just saying!) help increase blood flow to the brain. That's a win in my book!
Help to slow the ageing process
Cacao is high in the antioxidant antholyanidin (that has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobia effects) and epicatechin (which can help lower both insulin resistance and blood pressure). These powerhouses also help fight free radicals within the body that build up causing oxidative stress in our cell structures, ultimately wreaking havoc with our DNA and telomere length. Who doesn't want to look younger?
Improve heart health and lower the bad cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol Low density lipoprotein (bad) and High density lipoproteins (good). The polyphenols found in dark chocolate are said to help along with the monounsaturated fats to reduce the bad guys and improve heart health by lower the risk of heart disease. According to the British Heart Foundation 167,000 people die each year from heart and circulatory diseases in the UK. A powerful incentive to start liking the dark stuff!
Dark chocolate also has the added benefit of helping reduce cortisol levels in the body (your stress hormone) and we all know that when we are stressed...we emotionally eat! So next time when you hit the fridge, go for a square or two of the dark stuff! You really won't want more than that as it is very satiating and will definitely hit the spot releasing a shot of dopamine (feel good hormone). Remember with that caffeine hit you will be getting a great energy boost to help you through that stressful moment without the added guilt of craving and over consuming other unhealthy food.
So make sure you add a few bars in your trolley next time you go shopping!