Archives for June 2013
This months guest blog post courtesy of Lisa Part:
Improve Your Body With Chocolate – Yes, Really…
We’re serious – and it doesn’t involve wearing it as an inventive new style of bikini or all in one swimsuit. No, what we mean is you can actually improve how you look and how you feel simply by indulging in a little cocoa-y goodness from time to time. What’s more you can indulge without feeling that soul sapping guilt that can sometimes take the sweet edge of the delicious taste of those lovely, lovely squares of Belgian goodness. Read on for the only chocolate related health news you’ll ever need.
What can good old medicine and science tell us about chocolate?
Well, quite a lot as it happens, which is just as well if we’re going to try and convince you that our stuff is positively health food. You’ve probably got at least one friend who more or less busts a blood vessel at the thought of eating chocolate (or anything tasty) in case they put 0.3 of a gram of weight on and gets cellulite. The same kind of friend who tuts when you ask for the bread basket in a restaurant and inhales wheatgrass for pleasure. Though really, you should rethink being friends with someone like that. Anyone that doesn’t like chocolate needs a reality check. Here are the facts you need to know about why you need chocolate in your life:
It will stop you looking like Yoda
Slap on as much anti-wrinkle cream as you want, but if you really want to stop yourself turning into a small, shriveled up Star Wars character then you need to indulge in some really good quality chocolate to fill yourself full of skin loving chemicals – all legal of course. You see, some clever scientists have discovered that cocoa actually has higher levels of antioxidants than certain fruits like blueberries, strawberries and pomegranate. Imagine what would happen if you ate a bowl of blueberries with dark chocolate grated over them? Dorian Gray springs to mind. He had to make do with a painting. You’ve got delicious cocoa in hand.
It will entice you to put running shorts and sneakers on. Maybe. We can’t promise, though…
Exercise. There, we said it. Just typing it is enough to make us want to lie down with a cold flannel over our eyes. Research has shown however, that folks who ate a small amount of dark chocolate a little while before they exercised would be less likely to suffer the wobbles afterwards and less likely to want to go and binge eat to get their blood sugar up. It’s almost making us want to get on a bike and cycle somewhere quite fast. Almost…
It will make your brain super amazing, that’s if it isn’t already
Your brain is a pretty amazing bit of kit. Sometimes, we all suffer with low mood, feeling in the doldrums or just general ennui. Isn’t ennui a lovely word, though? Chocolate has been found to be a great stimulator of serotonin, which tends to be a bit low in people who are predisposed to depression. Really good quality chocolate is high in magnesium and chromium, which are both said to help with relaxation and fighting anxiety, as well as boosting the levels of serotonin we have in our brains. That mid afternoon feeling when you want to tell everyone to “talk to the hand, ‘cos the face ain’t listening”? Have a couple of squares of chocolate, breathe deeply and try again. You might still want to kill everything with fire, but you’ll do it much more calmly.
Listen to your heart. It is saying “eat chocolate, live long and prosper…”
There might be a lot of genuine health reasons for people to shy away from chocolate, it’s true. Not all of them are to do with vanity, either. Anyone who has perhaps suffered with heart trouble or other cardiovascular conditions might have thought their days of eating anything pleasurable were over. Medical research from the clever bods at the American Heart Association which was published in their Circulation Journal shows that real, lovely dark chocolate that is made from proper cocoa, good ingredients and isn’t loaded with trans-fats and sugars is full of flavonoids and flavonols, essential for good heart health. Obviously, all out gorging on anything isn’t good – but scientists reckon that one ounce, eaten a few times a week and enjoyed with a cup of green or black tea can, in combination with proper exercise and quitting smoking, can pack a powerful antioxidant punch to your body. Not the sort of punch that would hurt, thankfully. More a sort of gentle pat on the shoulder and a “well done for being virtuous” type of punch.
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