So how is everyone doing on their diets? If you’re like me you probably failed too many treats round the house right so what do you do well you need lots of will power for one and have your diet sheet on your fridge along with your goals also if you are finding it hard to keep off the chocolates there are alternatives you can make vegan chocs which have all natural fats in them I never loved
chocolate but now everyday I need chocolate in my life so I look for healthier alternatives these little chocs are amazing #saltedcaramel my absolute obsession at the mo and they also have green tea in them so detox you and also great to have at night when you get those cravings for something sweet or when you get that afternoon slump and wanting some choc don’t forget the 15% off for new members ends tomorrow. There is also a dark chocolate #isadelight available as well as #isalean protein bars full of #whey #protein.
Dark chocolate is a great alternative and actually good for you and that’s why I used in my vegan chocolates.
If you buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it is actually quite nutritious.
It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals.
A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains (1):
- 11 grams of fiber
- 67% of the RDI for iron
- 58% of the RDI for magnesium
- 89% of the RDI for copper
- 98% of the RDI for manganese
- It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium
Of course, 100 grams (3.5 ounces) is a fairly large amount and not something you should be consuming daily. All these nutrients also come with 600 calories and moderate amounts of sugar.
For this reason, dark chocolate is best consumed in moderation.
The fatty acid profile of cocoa and dark chocolate is also excellent. The fats are mostly saturated and monounsaturated, with small amounts of polyunsaturated fat.
It also contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine, but is unlikely to keep you awake at night as the amount of caffeine is very small compared to coffee.
ORAC stands for “oxygen radical absorbance capacity.” It is a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods.
Basically, researchers set a bunch of free radicals (bad) against a sample of a food and see how well the antioxidants in the food can “disarm” the radicals.
The biological relevance of ORAC values is questioned, because it’s measured in a test tube and may not have the same effect in the body.
However, it is worth mentioning that raw, unprocessed cocoa beans are among the highest-scoring foods that have been tested.
Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols and catechins, among others.
The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce nitric oxide (NO) (3).
One of the functions of NO is to send signals to the arteries to relax, which lowers the resistance to blood flow and therefore reduces blood pressure.
However, one study in people with high blood pressure showed no effect, so take all this with a grain of salt (8).
Consuming dark chocolate can improve several important risk factors for heart disease.
Oxidized LDL means that the LDL (“bad” cholesterol) has reacted with free radicals.
This makes the LDL particle itself reactive and capable of damaging other tissues, such as the lining of the arteries in your heart.
It makes perfect sense that cocoa lowers oxidized LDL. It contains an abundance of powerful antioxidants that do make it into the bloodstream and protect lipoproteins against oxidative damage (10, 11, 12).
The compounds in dark chocolate appear to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL.
In the long term, this should cause much less cholesterol to lodge in the arteries, resulting in a lower risk of heart disease
In fact, several long-term observational studies show a fairly drastic improvement.
In a study of 470 elderly men, cocoa was found to reduce the risk of death from heart disease by a whopping 50% over a 15 year period (15).
Another study revealed that eating chocolate two or more times per week lowered the risk of having calcified plaque in the arteries by 32%. Eating chocolate less frequently had no effect (16).
Yet another study showed that eating dark chocolate more than 5 times per week lowered the risk of heart disease by 57% (17).
Of course, these three studies are observational studies, so can’t prove that it was the chocolate that reduced the risk.
However, since the biological process is known (lower blood pressure and oxidized LDL), it is plausible that regularly eating dark chocolate may reduce the risk of heart disease.
The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin.
The flavonols can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration (18).
The minimal erythemal dose (MED) is the minimum amount of UVB rays required to cause redness in the skin 24 hours after exposure.
In one study of 30 people, the MED more than doubled after consuming dark chocolate high in flavanols for 12 weeks (19).
If you’re planning a beach vacation, consider loading up on dark chocolate in the prior weeks and months.
The good news isn’t over yet. Dark chocolate may also improve the function of your brain.
One study of healthy volunteers showed that eating high-flavanol cocoa for five days improved blood flow to the brain (20).
Cocoa may also significantly improve cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. It may improve verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease, as well (21).
Additionally, cocoa contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine, which may be a key reason why it can improve brain function in the short term (22).
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