Strawberries, broccoli and lentils are undoubtedly overflowing with healthy minerals and vitamins, but what about all your favourite treats we would much rather eat? There are hundreds of superfoods that are right under our noses which we definitely need to explore.
Chocolate is high in antioxidants these are a group of natural food chemicals that have the important job of fighting other chemicals in our body. These cause inflammation which contributes toward ageing processes and chronic disease. The seeds from the cocoa tree are meant to be one of the highest food sources of antioxidants. Cacao powder also contains a high amount of nutrients and minerals including copper, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium and manganese. Although some of us are rushing out to get our hands on the latest chocolate deals, it is cacao powder and quality dark chocolate that are the best forms of chocolate, so put down that dairy milk bar!
It has been rumoured that chocolate is helpful in keeping own blood pressure down. Experts have suggested that the flavanols in chocolate interact with the lining of our arteries causing cells to produce nitric oxide. This natural gas helps the arteries to relax which then relieves the resistance to blood flow and helps to lower our blood pressure. Sadly for us, eating chocolate only has a minor impact on our blood pressure, so it needs to be part of a healthy and balanced diet.
In need of some brain power now that the exam season has fully wiped you out? Chocolate might be the very source of improving your brain health. Lots of super components are contained in cacao, that are neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory.
Although chocolate has been considered guilty for the traumas of acne and struggles with the skin, studies have suggested that women who regularly eat cacao have smoother and more hydrated skin.
Chocolate stimulates endorphins that give your body a boost as well as enhancing your serotonin levels. If this isn’t something to smile about I don’t know what is.
So what’s our verdict? It is probably best not to eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But eating only reasonable amounts as well as making sure the chocolate you are eating is generally dark chocolate. Simply add some cacao powder to your baking or smoothies to create that chocolatey touch.
Popcorn contains three times more fibre than sunflower seeds, it potentially lowers your cholesterol and balances your blood sugar levels. But that’s not all, this cinema favourite is full of antioxidants! Popcorn kernels contain more polyphenols than the average amount found in fruit. Although this is music to our ears, sadly you still need to forget about the cinema kind of popcorn and opt for making your own. Why not make your own snack at home using ingredients that are healthier by avoiding excessive amounts of salt or sugar?
Coffee most definitely has a bad reputation when it comes to the health doctors, but maybe we’ve judged our go-to morning drink a little too early. Coffee is a major brain booster, it also enhances our endurance and performance in workouts. The moderate consumption of coffee can potentially lower the chances of heart disease, even more, coffee can half the risk of type 2 diabetes. But an even larger amount of coffee drinking can supposedly lower the chances of developing Alzheimers or Parkinson’s. This latest and newest information will most definitely make the coffee shops a little busier, now that we don’t have to feel guilty about our morning fix.