Chocolate: Taking away the guilt

I think we can all agree that chocolate is delicious and despite the disapproving looks and tutting you may get from a disapproving family member watching you wolf down a chunk or two, let’s face it, chocolate is and will probably remain the ultimate comfort food! It is rare that a comfort food becomes a super food, but you may feel somewhat relieved to find out that the right kind can actually be good for you and can make for the guilt-free indulgence.

Besides it’s rich, indulgent and delicious taste, chocolate has a range of benefits and:

  • is rich in flavanols and plant-based antioxidants
  • helps improves circulation and mood
  • helps improves cell sensitivity to insulin and glucose
  • has low glycaemic index
  • increases the level of the naturally occurring nitric oxide, which helps to regulate and lower blood pressure
  • helps stabilise coronary artery wall integrity
  • has anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial in treating certain brain injuries such as concussion
  • helps us deal with stress

Despite its obvious health-promoting benefits, chocolate gets a bad rap and is often thrown into the unhealthy junk food category. However, it is not chocolate itself that is the issue, but the additional ingredients, such as sugar.

Just before you go rushing off to the shops, here are some helpful tips for getting the ‘right kind’ referred to earlier. The purer, the better. Avoid trans fats. Organic is a better option. If you are still burning sugar, aim for a natural and reduced sugar alternative, of which there are many. Although sugar alternatives may be ‘less bad than sugar’, do bear in mind that they are not necessarily ‘innocent’ or healthful.

For those that are fat-adapted, you will obviously be looking for a non-insulin spiking sweet alternative, such as stevia, monk fruit and erythritol. Fat is very much welcome and will help keep you satiated and well fuelled for hours, so enjoy enjoy enjoy.

When it comes to your health, don’t just follow advice on what you should and shouldn’t do. Find out why. Sign up to our mailing list to receive regular updates about health matters.

Health is wealth. Protect it.

CRUDOLIFE: Changing one life at a time through education, nutrition, fitness, community and lifestyle.

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