Feeling guilty about eating chocolate this Easter? Think again!
There is absolutely no reason for you to actively avoid eating chocolate this Easter season, even if you’re on your FITTY journey.
Whilst chocolate gets a bad reputation, there actually are some surprising benefits that you may not know about. In fact, chocolate can actually be GOOD for you!
Hold up, is all chocolate healthy? 🙋♀️
Whilst all chocolate is delicious, the healthiest kind is dark chocolate. This is because dark chocolate contains a higher concentration of cocoa and contains significantly less sugar.
Of course, you can eat ANY type of chocolate you love, but if you want a little extra health boost, we recommend dark chocolate for the following benefits!
#1 Chocolate can boost your immunity
Yep, you read that right! Chocolate is made up of cocoa (obviously), and it’s the cocoa that's responsible for some immune boosting effects.
Without getting too sciency, cocoa has been scientifically shown to improve immunity by reducing inflammation and helping immune cell function (1).
Additionally, cocoa is rich in a strong antioxidant called polyphenols. Antioxidants are super important for fighting off free radicals in the body and support optimal immunity!
#2 Chocolate may boost mood and reduce stress
Say whhaattt? No wonder why eating chocolate feels so good!
Studies show that eating dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids) reduces feelings of stress, anxiety, and elevated mood (2). Chocolate is deemed to have mood-altering properties through stimulating feelings of pleasure and enjoyment (2).
In no way are we saying you should rely on eating chocolate for emotional support, but eating some chocolate may be just what you need to get through the Easter break!
#3 Chocolate may improve your gut health
Okay, this fact is super surprising!
In case you need a little gut health refresher, good bacteria (probiotics) live in the gut, and prebiotics are needed to help the good bacteria grow.
Studies show that dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids) actually acts as a prebiotic inside the gut, resulting in more good bacteria growth and greater microbiome diversity (2)!
Gut health is super important for optimal immunity, better skin, reduced stress and so much more. Who knew that eating dark chocolate could actually have a positive effect on gut health!
#4 Chocolate stabilizes appetite
Ever noticed that it’s harder to over eat dark chocolate compared to milk and white chocolate? It’s not just you - it’s literally a fact!
Studies show that those who eat dark chocolate feel less hungry, and because of that, overall calorie intake for the day was reduced compared to those who ate milk or white chocolate (3)
The reason why is because dark chocolate doesn’t affect blood sugar levels as much as milk and white chocolate (4). So there you have it, eating dark chocolate could actually HELP you stick to your healthy eating.
#5 Chocolate may improve muscle recovery and help exercise performance
For all our girls on a FITTY journey - this one's for you!
Cocoa has been found to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of the high concentration polyphenols (5).
What does that mean? The compounds in dark chocolate can reduce muscle inflammation, soreness AND reduce fatigue during exercise!(5).
On top of that, dark chocolate is a rich source of magnesium which is super beneficial for promoting muscle recovery and relaxation. What’s not to love!
If you find yourself questioning if you should eat chocolate this Easter, we hope we’ve helped you make that answer HELL YES!
Don’t be afraid to enjoy Easter festivities. One weekend of celebrating will NOT affect your progress in the long run.
WBK Fit Squad xx