Regardless of your country, gender, or beliefs, if there’s one food responsible for derailing a world of fitness ambitions, it’s chocolate. It doesn’t matter what the problem is, chocolate almost always seems to be answer. However, when chocolate is done the wrong way, it can be rather terrible for your gut. Fortunately, when it’s done right it can heal you in some rather unexpected ways.
It’s worth giving chocolate a brief origin story. It comes from cacao beans which is different from cocoa. The latter is roasted at high heat that can destroy some of cacao’s incredibly beneficial enzymes and antioxidants. Cocoa is processed into chocolate products where it has added sugars and oils that turn it into the Hershey bar that you know you shouldn’t eat. However, if you have cocoa and cacao in their raw forms then they can both be positively incredible for your body.
Cacao’s Delicious Pedigree
This is what cacao can do for your body and health
- Reduces stress
- Cuts inflammation
- Can protect from heart disease
- Fights ageing
- Improves energy levels
- Protects skin from sun
- Prevents tooth cavities
- Improves brain function
- Blood thinner
Your Gut Healer
Dark chocolate is a very healthy way to get your chocolate fix because it works as a powerful prebiotic, which serve as ammunition for probiotics. After 4 weeks of eating cocoa, people had significantly increased populations of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli – the good bacteria – in their guts, found a paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. These work to create a highly anti-inflammatory environment for your gut that can help with digestion. Other research found it can even reduce stress levels, improve memory and heighten your immunity. Aquire a taste for it and you’ll be doing yourself all sorts of favors.
The Protein Link
Why does this chocolate information matter for your protein? Well, you usually take your protein shakes before and after training, so you want it to be fully absorbed thanks to a healthy gut environment. Having a whey protein shake with real cocoa powder will assist with the digestion process and you can even go one better by adding a little cacao powder to it to ramp up the nutritional value. You won’t notice the difference in flavor and it will in fact probably taste even more luxurious.
Make sure you pick a whey protein that has no sugar or carbs such as TruLean’s Premium Whey Isolate Protein made from 100% Grass Fed milk that have no added hormones. It’s naturally sweetened with Monk fruit and Stevia so that it tastes like a dessert, but only comes with 100 calories per serving making it a natural fit for your fitness and weight loss goals. If you give you something to look forward to and make you feel as though having that wonderful chocolate taste in your mouth is not impossible if you want to get lean and stay that way. Making chocolate your default protein is the smartest thing you can do to get to your ideal weight while having your cake and eating it. Otherwise, what’s the point of cake anyway.