Chocolate Health Tips For Fitness:
Dark chocolate has long been considered a healthy food — it’s been linked to everything from increased attention levels and alertness, and it has even been shown to help reduce blood pressureand promote heart health.
And now, in exciting news, a breakthrough study has revealed that daily consumption of dark chocolate can improve fitness training and routine workouts.
Dark Chocolate Can Boost Energy for Workouts
In the new study by Kingston University published in ScienceDaily, athletes who drank a cocoa drink rather than a typical carbohydrate drink after exercising surprisingly boosted their athletic performance, and even improved their energy and endurance by a remarkable 57 percent. How? Well, the scientists found that the increased nitric oxide dilated blood vessels and cut oxygen consumption to improve fitness workouts. These benefits of chocolate come directly from the flavanol found in the cocoa bean, according to the study’s scientists.
Stay Thin With Dark Chocolate
Scientists uphold that dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa is considered a health food, not a junk food. It promotes cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, and may even help prevent age-related cognitive decline. And stunning new research now shows that it can help you lose weight!
A chocolate a day keeps the pounds away, according to Will Clower, PhD, a neuroscientist and nutritionist. In his new book, Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight, Dr. Clower says that if chocolate is solid dark chocolate, then it is a real food. Junk food, on the other hand, is any chocolate with additive sugars like caramel, wafer or nougat. Milk chocolate is branded junk food for its high sugar content. The darker the better, says Dr. Clower. Healthy chocolate consumption would be a portion that is equal to the size of your thumb end. He encourages people to incorporate chocolate into their diet up to eight times a day in bite sizes (or 1 ounce pieces). For optimal benefits, put a square of dark chocolate in your mouth, let it rest in your mouth and taste it; do not chew it right away. The sensory motor in your brain makes you happy and cuts cravings. As you taste it, hunger drops.
Best Practices for Reaping the Health Benefits of Chocolate
Data in the last five years has revealed that dark chocolate is good for blood pressure, heart, brain activity and weight control. Dr. Clower has found that it is best to eat a bite size of chocolate 30 minutes before a meal and again five minutes after you eat. The natural cocoa butter controls your hunger between meals and during meals. For people who find dark chocolate bitter, Dr. Clower admits that you can train your brain to like it by tasting it in your mouth before chewing and swallowing it.
Natural, unsweetened cocoa can be added to a breakfast smoothie. When you cook something savory, such as beef stew, cocoa will deepen the flavors and the polyphenols (antioxidants), which are good for your heart, decrease anxiety by as much as 10 percent, produce less fatigue, and help reduce depression. Researchers from the University of San Diego concluded that people who consistently eat dark chocolate had a BMI of a whole point lower than those who didn’t eat dark chocolate at least 5 times a week.