Hello Everyone! My name is Abby Bliss White and I am a Health and Hormonal Balance Coach, Yogi, Personal Trainer and all-around food geek! I am the owner of Bliss Holistic Health and specialize in helping women (and some men) balance their hormones, boost their metabolism and lose weight, naturally. I am thrilled to be a part of The Refinery gang and will be sharing tips and tools each week, to help YOU boost your health and wellness goals.
I thought I would start off with a fun one, especially since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. So let’s dive into the health benefits of DARK CHOCOLATE.
Did you know that Dark Chocolate is not only great for your heart and brain but your hormonal health too?
Dark Chocolate can:
- Reduce Stress
- Lower your cortisol levels ( the main stress hormone made in your adrenal glands.)
- Suppress your appetite
- Reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke
- Trigger endorphins that make you feel ‘oh so happy’ just like exercise!
I recommend consuming 1 oz of Dark Chocolate (72% cacao mass + ) daily for maximum health benefits.
Cacao, the main ingredient in dark chocolate, is loaded with antioxidants. It has 30 times the antioxidant content of red wine and 20 times the content of green tea!
A less-known fact: raw chocolate also comes with a healthy dose of immune-boosting vitamin C. Have you tried raw cacao nibs? These babies are chopped up cacao beans and are considered ‘nature’s chocolate chips’. They are rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Try sprinkling them on oatmeal, yogurt, or eat them straight up. Cacao nibs help curb your sweet tooth and suppress your appetite.
The trick, however, is in how you pick your chocolate. Avoid the traditional high sugar chocolate and follow these tips:
- The darker the better. The good stuff lives in the cacao, which dark chocolate has more of. Plus, the higher the percentage of dark chocolate, the lower the percentage of fillers like milk solids and sweeteners.
- Try raw. The roasting process degrades the antioxidants found in the cacao beans, so raw chocolate has more fabulous flavonoids. Raw chocolate is also a great source of iron and magnesium. A truly delicious snack is a mix of Cacao Nibs +Goji Berries.
- Nibble, don’t gobble. A little chocolate goes a long way. 1 oz of chocolate a day is ideal. You can have 2 oz. on Valentine’s Day and it won’t kill ya!
- Healthy Additions: Make sure your chocolate does not contain artificial flavors or additives. Look for chocolates filled with heart healthy nuts, quinoa or my personal favorite, SUPERFOODS.
I am a wee bit obsessed with Vosages Super Dark Chocolate that is loaded with Super Foods like Spirulina, Matcha Tea, Coconut Ash and Banana, Goji Berries, Acai Berries and more. You can find these at Whole Foods and World Market.
If it’s crunch you’re looking for, Alter Eco makes a great Dark Chocolate Quinoa bar that reminds me of a healthy version of Nestle Crunch. It is a bit shy of my recommended 72%+ dark chocolate, but has the added benefit of protein, so it is worth a try. Yum! You can find these at Whole Foods and New Seasons.
Go forth and enjoy a little dark chocolate today. I am looking forward to meeting some of you in class this week.
Happy Valentine’s everyone!