If you’re a singer tempted to reach for the chocolate at this time of year (and let’s face it who isn’t, right?) then make it dark chocolate.
It’s a far healthier option than the super sweet, highly-processed stuff. And here at iSingmag we’re all for singers taking care of themselves so that they have the energy and stamina to meet the demands of performing. (It’s the reason why we think all singers should learn about nutrition and why we’ve published some great healthy recipes. Check them out HERE.)
It’s important to remember that when health experts recommend dark chocolate, they’re talking about the unsweetened stuff that contains a high percentage of pure cacao or cocoa solids.
Functional medicine specialist Dr Mark Hyman recommends going for at least 70% dark chocolate. You can of course get products that boast 85% or more. Basically, the higher the percentage the greater the potential benefits – albeit the more bitter the taste.
Here are three reasons why we’re reaching for the dark chocolate this Easter.
1 Dark chocolate is considered a superfood because it is high in two types of antioxidants: flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants neutralise free radicals, the nasties that cause damage to cells, proteins and DNA and are associated with diseases such as cancer. Dark chocolate also contains magnesium, vitamins A, B1, B2, D, and E.
2 It’s good for heart health. Flavanols – the main type of flavonoid found in dark chocolate – can improve blood pressure and increase blood flow to the heart. One study found that a small daily dose of dark chocolate decreased the risk of heart attack and stroke by about 40%.
3 Dark chocolate is considered a brain food as it can boost memory and cognitive function (it’s those flavonoids again, they improve blood flow to the brain).
But there’s one more thing
All good things come with a caveat, don’t they? Here’s ours. Even though dark chocolate is good for you it’s not calorie free. About 30g of dark chocolate has about 170 calories. Moderation is key.