Monday, June 26, 2017

NUTRITION:   Dark Chocolate and Bodybuilding?  Yes!

Is chocolate a healthy food to be considered when deciding what foods to eat when you are weight training or just participating in a fitness program?  Yes, dark chocolate will be your "choice."  In fact, dark chocolate is loaded with essential nutrients that can have a positive effect on your health.  It is an antioxidant and helps to lower the risk of heart disease with compounds such as polyphenols, flavanols and catechins. But, stay away from milk chocolate as the added milk and sugar is not what you want to stay lean and "not" gain excess fat. 

Also, look for more of the organic dark chocolate in the range of 70% or greater cacao.  I, personally, like a 70% because any greater percentage to me starts to get bitter.  But try, say, an 80%, you may like it.  Experiment but be sure to stick with dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate contains fiber as well as healthy amounts of iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.  There are calories, of course, but in these darker chocolates, sugar is minimal.  The fat is mostly saturated and monounsaturated with a small amount of polyunsaturates.

Another study has found that dark chocolate may be great for your skin.  The flavanols can actually protect against sun-induced damage and improve blood flow to the skin and help to increase skin density and hydration.

The benefits are numerous for adding dark chocolate to your diet and more are being discovered every day.  For example, dark chocolate helps to lower your blood pressure, big deterrent against strokes and heart attacks, as we mentioned earlier. The fat in chocolate is actually in the form of oleic acid, typically found in olive oil, which is found to have antioxidant properties.

What about improving the function of the brain?  Yes again!  One study showed that consuming high flavanol cocoa improved blood flow to the brain thus improving cognition and verbal fluency in elderly people.  It also contains simulants like caffeine and theobromine.

Dark chocolate (70% >) helps to prevent diabetes and obesity by inhibiting blood sugar issues and to improve mood because of the chemical serotonin which is a natural anti-depressant.

Remember, to get minimum 70% cacao.  There are brands that offer 80% up to 90%.  These are known as semi-sweet.  Remember, the more bitter the better.  Just know that if you love chocolate, knowing the health benefits can get you past the bitter!

Eat more dark chocolate!  TEAM JAQT  See YOU in the gym!
And don't forget to order your favorite workout supplements today by clicking here!

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