On a detox? Need to lose weight? Cutting calories? Low-carb fiend? Yes, you too should eat MORE chocolate (Cocoa) this January (and beyond).
1. Dark or milk chocolate with a high cocoa content and containing nuts is practically a health food – in moderation. The more cocoa, the less sugar and the faster you’ll feel full, while nuts naturally balance blood sugar. So you have a snack with few empty carbs that satisfies cravings, fast. Result.
2. Diabetics can eat real chocolate – not just chocolate labeled ‘diabetic’. Any quality high-cocoa, low-sugar choc is fine (solid chocolate and nut-rich praline choccies are best), as long as you eat them after a meal.
3. Just like red wine, high-cocoa chocolate is packed with antioxidants and flavonoids that fight free radicals and boost circulation. That means a level of protection against cancer, heart disease and skin ageing, while other healthy cocoa compounds may help with diabetes, depression and even sunburn. So seriously, a glass and a chunk a day keep the doctor away.
4. Nibbling on some decent dark chocolate pre-workout will make you go faster and harder – without the sugar slump halfway down the line. Chocolate works in much the same energising way as a quick espresso, but it won’t give you the jitters like coffee can.
5. Cocoa will boost performance of a different kind, as well. Montezuma, emperor of the Aztecs, was known to drink it by way of an aphrodisiac, for the benefit of his 25 wives.
6. Are you on a dairy-free diet? You can eat milk chocolate – soon. In March, Hotel Chocolat launch Milk-Free Milk Chocolate, made with almond powder for a creamy effect. We haven’t tasted it yet but it sounds lush.