If I could freely chose with a clear mind what to snack on, I would probably always rather eat some kind of spiced or bbq-y flavored savoury snack, like crisps or nuts.
Luckily I have never been the one to munch through a bag of gummibears or a full pack of mini celebrations – but those crispy treats have my heart, even as a paleo I know crave seaweed or veggie chips on a regular basis (I somehow do not seem to allow myself to have them as often though. reminder: balance is key, go for it girl).
I recently kind of shocked my intern Leo, as I simply told him I hate chocolate, which is kind of true as I could never really stand this sickly-sweet milk chocolate taste – above all not in its pure state without any nuts, a milk filling or at least a cookie.
But there is one exception, or let’s call it my dark secret: really dark chocolate.
And I am talking really dark, I mean the 75-99% dark chocolate which every other person seems to avoid like the plague and rather goes for a snickers.
But exactly that tang and bitterness nobody else seems to like is what I do and given my 2016 resolution to introduce some more treats into my diet, I am just snacking on some lovely, bitter 85% dark chocolate from Lindt. My favourite, a thin delight of cacao taste at merely 19g carbs (14g sugar) per 100%. This might sound super high for a low-carber, but looking at the other options of chocolate out there – no wonder sugar-addicts cringe their nose at it.
But – in moderation of course – dark chocolate is actually not only a pleasant and satisfying treat, but actually good for your body. Something, I found out by reading up a lot on superfoods and the slight feeling that health is sometimes more important than 200g more on the scale. And that is why I will keep up my resolutions and include on a more regular basis into my diet.
Let’s look into the details why and how much to eat in real life without regrets.
It boosts your brain power with increased blood flow, but also lowers blood pressure.
Containing a high amount of flavonoids, chocolate with a cacao content above 75% is proved to dilate our blood vessels and therefore improves the oxygen flow to key parts of our brains – as a result we can also prevent high levels of fatigue and even premature ageing.
It may protect your skin against the sun, which is as nice a your beach body.
Do not skip the sun block, especially when you are as white as I am but love to spend your vacation on Caribbean beaches – but keep in mind that again the precious flavonoids in dark chocolate increase skin hydration and skin density by improving the blood flow – especially important after exposing skin to even the minimum amount of UVB rays required to cause redness in the skin.
After all, why working on a beach body, if you look just like a shredded lobster at the end?
It is very nutritious, by containing a high amount of micronutrients when the sugar is kept low.
A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:
- an average 11 grams of soluble fiber.
- 67% of the RDA for Iron.
- 58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
- 89% of the RDA for Copper.
- 98% of the RDA for Manganese.
- It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
If I decide to go for dark chocolate, I sometimes have a hard time to stick to the recommended serving of 1-2 pieces after dinner – logically advisable as even though the sugar content in dark chocolate is reduced in comparison to milk chocolate. The nutrient packed 100g still have around 600 calories, but I have some tricks to add some cacao taste to my daily diet, but make me crave that whole bar less frequently. But if I do, I do. And it’s time to feel less guilty about it.
If it has to be a chocolate block, I prefer Lindt Semi-Sweet Chocolate at 85% cacao with only 14g of sugar – it has the right balance of a smooth-not-powder-dry texture and bitter-sweet taste.
And if you are ever going to plan an Easter gift for me, Lindt also has them chocolate Easter bunnies ourt yet – available also in semi-sweet with the brown bell #hint.