Healthy Dark Chocolate
I drink the Xocai Extreme Dark Chocolate Shake for breakfast. I eat a couple of dark chocolate squares during the day. My energy level is through the roof, my mood is great, and I feel amazing. My friend Robin Cohen who introduced me to Xocai, summed it up in a way that I can't refute: Gluten clogs you up, causes inflammation, and makes you feel lousy. Dark chocolate reduces inflammation, makes you feel better, and gives you more energy. Because I am who I am, I can't just take one person's or one company's word for it. So I did some research, and here's what I found:
1. Dark chocolate reduces risk of heart attack and stroke. The antioxidants and flavonoids, especially flavanols can lower blood pressure and increase blood supply to the brain. I've got friends who tell me that their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers have markedly improved since they started eating healthy dark chocolate. My mom was plagued by high blood pressure and heart disease and died of a heart attack at age 53, so this is especially important to me. This article from the Cleveland Clinic provides more detail about the cardiovascular benefits of dark chocolate.
2. Dark chocolate improves your mood. Several chemical compounds that help improve mood are present in dark chocolate: Theobromine, anandamide, and phenylethylamine. These safe, non-addictive compounds reduce pain, improve energy, and make you feel happier or less depressed. Like many people, I thought that caffeine was in chocolate, but not so, unless a manufacturer has added it in. Like many, I need all the help I can get to stay positive and upbeat, and a little dark chocolate can go a long way to make that happen. Here's a report on a study that showed that chocolate had a calming influence.
3. Dark chocolate can improve your skin. This was a big surprising discovery for me. Apparently the antioxidants in dark chocolate help our skin absorb UV rays and reduce reddening and inflammation. As a fair-skinned gal who didn't listen to her mom and spent too much time in the sun in her youth, this is good news for me. Here's more info from Sciencenews.org on the skin research. [Xocai has also developed a cacao-based anti-aging line of skin care products...]
4. Dark chocolate can help with weight loss, weight management and diabetes management. Dark chocolate suppresses appetite and curbs cravings. Plus, it does not spike blood glucose levels as much as other sweet treats. It has a glycemic index of 23, compared to an apple's 40 or a banana's 45. I've been enjoying the 190 calorie dark chocolate protein shake for breakfast and it keeps me going just fine until lunch. More about dark chocolate and diabetes here at Livestrong.com, and weight loss/management at Rodale.
5. Dark chocolate improves cognitive function. As those of us with celiac can attest, brain fog sucks. There are a number of indicators that dark chocolate helps us think more clearly and can help ward off cognitive decline. Bring it! Links: There are more Nobel laureates in countries that eat more chocolate, and chocolate helps us process information and think faster.
6. Dark chocolate is a good source of iron, magnesium and copper. Since I have a chronic anemia thing going and I can't stomach oral iron supplements, an additional vegetarian source of iron and other essential minerals is quite welcome! More details at fitday.com.
So the big asterisk in all the happy chocolate news is that a person needs to eat dark chocolate that has a high percent of cacao (65% or better), in moderation, and it shouldn't replace eating a variety of health-rich fruits and vegetables. I've found that Xocai is a great fit for my nutritional and fitness goals, plus its gluten-free and it tastes really good. In addition to the protein shake, they have healthy dark chocolate squares embued with omega 3's and probiotics, plus the skin care product line called Xophoria. Cool, right?
But there are a lot of dark chocolates out there, aren't there? Some are a lot cheaper. So why do I like (and now promote) Xocai? I'll tell you!
1. High quality, cold-press chocolate. Xocai Healthy Chocolate products are the result of a proprietary blend of cacao, açaí, and blueberries combined with cold-pressed chocolate, which makes them super rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and healthy goodness.
2. Ethically traded, naturally grown. Fair wages, humane conditions, no pesticides. I wouldn't support it otherwise.
3. Gluten-free (of course!), natural sweeteners, no fillers. Enough said, right?
Want some? Contact me! I am now a Xocai distributor, #243275. In addition to loving the chocolate, I am also a fan of the distribution and business model. You can't get Xocai in stores. It's delivered directly to people's houses. I like and benefit from the healthy dark chocolate, I tell people about it, they want it too, so I connect them. A billion people ate chocolate yesterday, so imagine the health benefits if they all changed their chocolate to healthy dark chocolate. This is a great, health-centric food that people will want to continue to buy.
What's more, I'm looking for a few fun and adventurous people who want to earn some extra money to join me in this great chocolate biz. This video tells part of the story. If you want to know more, contact me and let's talk!