A Healthy Relationship with Chocolate

Chocolate has the lingering stigma of being a “forbidden” food. Around forty-five percent of females in the United States admit to having regular cravings for chocolate. Feelings of guilt often flood the brain when eating this “Prohibited” snack, more so in women than men. This emotional response may encourage you to fight the urge to have chocolate in your diet at all.  Fraught relationships with chocolate can actually be negatively impactful. What if a professional told you that chocolate can have a positive effect on your health? 

Studies have shown that emotional responses to food, in this case chocolate can impact your personal success and daily ability to manage your weight. For example, if you relate chocolate to culpability you may trigger numerous issues such as unhealthy eating habits, body dysmorphia, reduced quality of life and feelings of being overwhelmed and powerless. 

The good news is there is a solution to everything. You can reverse the dissentient effects of eating chocolate by removing the taboo slur. Feeling guilty about what you are eating is a thing of the past. No food should be labeled as off limits because that can set you up for failure. Cutting foods out completely can lead to increased craving and overeating. Being on good terms with your relationship to chocolate is key. For example, take delight in it by savoring the treat with intention and purpose. Be mindful of why and at what times you’re eating it. Don’t grab a huge bowl of candy and devour it in one sitting. For example, allow yourself a piece of dark chocolate every day or indulge on the weekends with a delectable piece of chocolate cake from your favorite local bakery. Moderation is a must. We want to stay away from the feelings of wanting to overeat chocolate or avoid it all together. It can not be stressed enough how important a healthy relationship with food is, not only to your body but also your mind and soul. Creating a symbiotic alliance with dark chocolate could remarkably improve your overall health. 

Dark chocolate is shown to be very beneficial to you. It contains a flavonol called epicaechin. flavenols are found in plants and help protect against cell damage and inflammation. Dark Chocolate also contains some pretty powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants have been known to reduce the risk of blood clots, increase circulation, lower blood pressure, lower the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease while also lowering the risk of death from heart disease. Flavonols reduce oxidative stress and prevent the immune system from overworking itself. They also have a positive impact on brain function, For example dark chocolate has been proven to help increase memory, spatial awareness and aid in quicker reaction time. One explanation for this is that flavonols increase the brain's blood flow. Epicatechin makes the cells stronger and supports the function that assists the body in regulating insulin. Epicatechin increases nitric oxide in the blood which helps support adequate circulation. It has also shown to boost athletic performance by reducing the amount of oxygen used while doing moderate exercise. In other studies it is reported that humans that partake in the consumption of dark chocolate had reduced levels of the stress hormone known as cortisol. Stress is a common risk factor of heart disease. Therefore, eat more dark chocolate, like our famous “Galaxy Bonbons”.

There’s a few more things you should know about chocolate. First, the higher the cocoa content the more benefits the chocolate actually contains. For rule of thumb, you should try to pick chocolate with a cocoa content of no less than seventy percent. Studies show you will receive the most health benefits if you stay above that percentage. Next, try to find dark chocolate that has been minimally processed and sustainably sourced. Also, check the label. You should always be aware and take into account the fat, sugar and calorie content of the dark chocolate you are consuming. Chocolate can also be triggering if you suffer from migraines and acid reflux for some people, so just be mindful of your body and what it is telling you.

Overall, having the occasional sweet snack shouldn’t be riddled with guilt or stress whether you are indulging in dark, milk or white chocolate. Try incorporating chocolate into your busy lifestyle and find what works best for you. If you're looking for a healthier chocolate visit our shop!

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