Do you ever have huge craving’s for chocolate like I do!? If so then this blog is for you! The average American consumes roughly 12 pounds of chocolate each year. However, not all chocolate is created equally. Highly processed sweetened chocolate has no nutritional value at all, while most dark chocolates have several health benefits that I discuss in more detail below! When we really get down to it, it's the cocoa in your chocolate that delivers these potential health benefits!
Chocolate is made by mixing cocoa, sugar and fat. Dark chocolate generally contains a much higher percentage of the good stuff, “Cocoa.” Unsweetened cocoa powder is very low in calories, but delivers a concentrated source of flavonoids, a plant-based substance suspected of providing chocolate with its potential health benefits which is why dark chocolate is an advocated for health and why we at Vital Proteins use organic cocoa in several of our own products. One of my favorites being, the Dark Chocolate & Coconut Water, Collagen Whey Protein! That you’ll see pictured with me here!
Protects Against Disease-Causing Free Radicals
The antioxidants found in cocoa fight against free radicals that try to invade the body. These antioxidants include vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Two types of antioxidants prevalent in cocoa are flavonoids and polyphenols.
Improves Heart Health
The main type of flavonoid found in cocoa are flavanols. Researchers have found that flavanols can help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart as well as the brain. They also help make blood platelets less sticky, which reduces the risk of blood clots and stroke.
Good for Overall Cholesterol
The cocoa found in dark chocolate contains oleic acid, stearic acid, and palmitic acids. Oleic acid is a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil. Stearic acid has been found to have a neutral effect on cholesterol, which means it doesn’t raise it or lower it. Researchers found that just one week of dark chocolate consumption can improve lipid profiles and decrease platelet reactivity for both men and women.
Improve Cognitive Function
It has been discovered that flavanol-rich cocoa has been associated with the increase of blood flow to cerebral gray matter. It has also been suggested that cocoa flavanols might be beneficial in conditions with reduced cerebral blood flow such as dementia and has the ability to improve cognitive function ability specifically in the elderly.
Aid Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar (check)
Cocoa has been found not only beneficial in lowering blood pressure of the hypertensive diabetics, but it also decreased fasting blood sugar.
To stop those chocolate cravings, get your fix by supplementing the Dark Chocolate & Coconut Water, Collagen-Whey Protein. I use it almost everyday the taste is absolutely delicious. I use my blender to make several different kinds of shakes, some examples include: Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Strawberry Banana, Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana. The list goes on! I also include ground flax seeds, cinnamon and Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen in most of my shakes for extra nutrition benefits.