DARK CHOCOLATE VERSUS MILK CHOCOLATE

As it’s Easter this weekend, I thought it quite apt to discuss chocolate this month. There is SO much temptation with the huge array of options on the supermarket shelves…..mostly unhealthy!

There is great news for those of you who want to still indulge, but at a level that is less calorific. Dark chocolate is the way forward. And guess what? It’s actually good for you!

It has been proven that dark chocolate not only decreases your blood pressure but also reduces your cholesterol levels.

Dark chocolate has plant based antioxidents, called flavonoids. The type in dark chocolate are flavonols. The darker the chocolate (higher percentage of cocoa solids) the more the antioxidents!

As a consequence it has been proven that regular consumption of dark chocolate can lower the risk of stroke and heart attack.

REASONS WHY WE SHOULD EAT DARK CHOCOLATE:

*   It has less calories than milk chocolate. And has less added sugar and fat.

*   The feel good factor! As dark chocolate contains caffeine, theobromine and phenethylamine you will notice a boost in your mood     and energy as these substances act as a mild stimulant. It is also known to boost serotonin levels, acting as a mild anti-depressant.

*   It satisfies your hunger for longer as it’s full of fibre. You will feel up quicker on dark chocolate making it less likely to over indulge!

*   It improves your blood flow. Dark chocolate is known to thin the blood. It performs the same anti-clotting activity as aspirin.

*   Australian studies suggest that people who eat dark chocolate often tend to have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than people who  don’t.

*   Ladies you will love this one……who dosn’t want extra protection for their skin? German researchers suggest the flavonoids in dark chocolate offer some protection against UV light therefore helping us to avoid skin damage from the sun. Chocolate face masks can also work wonders. Check out these homemade chocolate facemasks :

http://www.beautyandtips.com/beauty-2/top-4-chocolate-homemade-face-masks/

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At Paola’s BodyBarre our chocolate of choice is Doisy and Dam superfoods chocolate. It’s a luxurious tasting chocolate, produced in Norfolk (Local Chelsea boys Richard Wilkinson and Edward Smith developed the brand). It has all the benefits of superfoods without sacrificing indulgence.

“Superfoods” is the buzz word of the day! Why? There are so many reasons why. In a nut shell superfoods have varying health benefits. Here are the superfoods contained in D&D and why they are so SUPER!

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CHIA SEEDS:

The chia plant is pretty useless, but the seeds it produces are a near-perfect food source: almost a quarter of their makeup is omega-3 fatty acids, they are exceptionally high in calcium, protein and fiber and they contain all essential amino acids. Another little trick up the chia seeds sleeve is that when they are presented with water, they form a gel, so when they are in your stomach they can slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and sugars allowing for a more balanced metabolism.

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SPIRULINA:

Is a cyanobacterium. Imagine a plant that can provide all the protein you need, 5 times as much potassium as bananas, over 20 times as much iron as spinach, all while having a low fat and calorie content… that is spirulina. Not only can this plant provide you with almost everything you need to live healthily, it is also one of the most environmentally friendly sources of protein globally.

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MACA ROOT:

Maca is a root vegetable found in South America, particularly Peru, where it has been grown for centuries as a staple of the Andean diet. Our organic maca comes from the Carhuamayo province of Peru where it is grown at an altitude of over 4,000 metres.This root is often used as a healthier alternative to caffeine as it encourages sustained energy throughout the day without causing a crash. It is high in calcium and contains all essential amino acids but the other benefit is much more interesting maca is said to give a significant boost to the libido in both men and women.

macaroots

HEMP SEEDS:

These little delicious seeds have a perfect balance of Omega 3 and 6- ideal for human health, they provide complete protein since they have a full amino acid spectrum. Last, but not least, they have a massive trace mineral content – meaning hemp seeds are truly one of nature’s superfoods.

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GOJI BERRIES:

Pound for pound they contain 500 times the amount of Vitamin C found in oranges. They are packed full of antioxidants which fight free radicals a contributing factor to cell damage, contain 18 essential amino acids and are high in iron and vitamin E. You will love their sweet flavour and chewy texture.

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