There is no doubt that nothing screams happiness more than chocolate does. It is one of the top selling candy bars in the world. It’s no wonder we give it to others on special occasions, holidays and even just because. Where there is chocolate there’s a smile. Although milk chocolate taste great the popularity of dark chocolate is on the rise. The more we learn about the health benefits of dark chocolate the more people are making the switch. Not only is dark chocolate delicious it is also loaded with nutrients that can improve your mood when eaten in moderate amounts.
Lets start with the basics.
Dark chocolate is chocolate without milk solids added. The basic ingredients in dark chocolate bars are cacao beans, sugar, and an emulsifier such as soy lecithin. Cacao beans is the purest form of chocolate you can consume which comes from the Theobroma Cacao tree. The more cacao in your dark chocolate the better.
Have you ever wondered why dark chocolate has different percentages to them? The percentage the chocolate contains tells you how much is made from pure cacao beans. These percentages can range from 30-80% or higher. While the percentage tells you the amount of Cacao in it, it also tells you the sugar content. A dark chocolate bar with a percentage of 75% contains 25% of sugar added, 80% has 20% sugar added and so on. The higher the percentage the more intense the flavor of bitterness. You can also read more about this topic in a previous blog here. (insert Raw Cacao vs Cocoa blog hyperlink )
Studies on dark chocolate have been able to link many health benefits to consuming it daily. These benefits include lowering the risk of heart disease, provides a great source of antioxidants, improve brain function and it may improve blood flow and aid in lowering blood pressure. Dark chocolate is also rich in zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, flavanols, antioxidants and minerals.
The one thing we all want to know, how does it improve my mood? Well its a known fact that chocolate with a minimum of 70% cacao can support cognitive, endocrine and cardiovascular health. While dark chocolate has many benefits such as, lowering your risk for heart disease, improves blood pressure and improve blood flow, it also improves your mood.
Dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals produced naturally by the nervous system to cope with pain or stress which are often called “feel-good” chemicals. These chemicals act as a pain reliever and a happiness booster. Endorphins bind with opiate receptors in the brain leading to feelings of euphoria or pleasure.
Ever heard of a “runners high”?
One trigger for runners high is the release of endorphins. The body releases this chemical during physical activity such as running which allows the runner to experience the feeling of euphoria.
Now this is not to say run out and buy as many dark chocolate bars as you can. Professionals recommend eating dark chocolate in moderation, while it does have health benefits it also contains a high amount of calories. The recommended intake of dark chocolate is 1 to 2 ounces or 30 to 60 grams per day. Remember dark chocolate with the highest amount of cacao is better. Try to stick with a minimum percentage of 70%.
If you want to gain the benefits of cacao in a plant based protein we’ve got you covered!
AMPD Pro Cacao is made with organic cacao. Our cacao formula provides the same unique combination of specialized proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are found in our original vanilla protein. AMPD Pro helps to fulfill the dietary needs that are missing from our whole foods.
Besides being delicious here are benefits of the AMPD PRO chocolate cacao flavor protein.
PLANT-BASED PROTEIN BLEND
You can incorporate the AMPD PRO chocolate Cacao in your everyday life for fitness, health and to improve your mood!
For fitness: Consume 1 scoop post-workout to enhance protein synthesis
For health: Consume 1 scoop 1 to 2 times a day as either a meal replacement or a protein source. This also provides your daily source of multi-vitamin and biotin.
Just remember, it doesn’t matter how you chocolate as long as you do it with a smile!