The Reasons Why We Should Start Eating Chocolate for Breakfast
The mighty cocoa bean – chocolate in its purest form – hails from South and Central America and is known in Latin as the “Food of the Gods” and nicknamed “black gold” by the Spanish.
Chocolate that is free-from refined sugars, glutens and soya gives you a healthy hit of pure energy, without the sugar crash and icky post-junk food feeling. Cocoa also contains numerous minerals and vitamins, antioxidants and flavanols, which are seriously good for your physical and mental health.
Accordint to study by Syracuse University has revealed that “eating chocolate prepares you more for your workday, so what better day part to incorporate dark chocolate into your meal than breakfast?” You don’t need to tell us twice we are all aboard the train for eating chocolate before 12pm (cos let’s be honest we’ve all been eating chocolate before midday for a VERY long time) but for the skeptics read on.
The study calls for cafes and restaurants to start adding chocolate cakes and desserts to their breakfast menus. But don’t worry we did some extra research and found a study byTel Avivi University which solidifies our dreams of chocolate for breakfast which concluded that having dessert for breakfast supported weight loss as our metabolism is most active in the mornings.
Unfortunately, as with most great things there is some tiny text… Whilst chocolate for breakfast has been given the tick of approval by experts, the cream, sugar and butter that is often found in those decadently rich chocolate desserts has not. So don’t go ordering four slices of your favourite black forest cake after your morning cardio just yet.
Both studies focussed on natural cocoa extracts so if you are serious about eating chocolate for breakfast AND losing weight, dark chocolate is the way to go. Cocoa is packed with antioxidants, iron and magnesium and also helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.
Chocolate is a natural mood booster and anti-depressant
That feeling of “euphoria” after consuming high-quality chocolate is the work of the unique chemicals released with the body’s absorption of cocoa. The bliss chemicals serotonin, anandamide, phenylethylamine plus mega endorphins send messages to the brain of satiation like no other substance on this earth.
The release of serotonin in the brain is thought to regulate anxiety, happiness, and mood – promoting an overall sense of wellbeing.
That gorgeous blissed-out feeling when you have a square of high-quality chocolate melting on your tongue – yep, that’s caused by the release of the relaxation chemical anandamide to the brain.
Here’s a bit of science: cocoa contains both N-acylethanolamines that are believed to temporarily increase the levels of anandamide in the brain and enzyme inhibitors that slow its breakdown. The result: ultimate relaxation and a simulation of the feeling of lying on a hot beach in the sun somewhere tropical – pure bliss!
Phenylethylamine (PEAs), the chemical compounds that are created in the brain and released when we’re in love, are also released when we eat chocolate. That’s why eating chocolate recreates the giddy and restless feelings that happen when we are in love.
Cocoa also stimulates the secretion of endorphins – produced by our bodies as a natural response to stress, fear or pain – giving us the feeling that everything is a-ok.
Chocolate contains more antioxidants than green tea
Chocolate is packed full of flavanols, the antioxidant that helps to delay cell damage caused by the oxidants that we are exposed to daily from things like air pollution, cigarette smoke, and alcohol.
By weight-ratio comparison, chocolate contains more of these essential antioxidants than green (and black) tea.
Great news for breakfast green tea drinkers who gulp their way through each bitter sip wishing there was a more delicious way to reduce toxicity in the body. There is! A few cheeky squares of our Organic Earl Grey Milk Chocolate Bar at breakfast time can give you a healthy dose of flavanols and prepare your body to fight off all the nasties that the day will inevitably bring.
Chocolate is packed FULL of the good stuff
Pop a square of high-quality chocolate in to your mouth after taking your multi-vitamin supplements each morning for an added mineral loaded oomph. Chocolate that doesn’t contain any refined sugars, glutens and soya gives you a healthy hit of the essential minerals and vitamins that your body needs to function well, including calcium, zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, iron and potassium and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, C, A, E.
In its purest form, chocolate is one of the richest superfoods in the world.
Chocolate makes for a healthy heart
Eating dark chocolate is like an exercise workout for the heart: it helps restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels.
The essential nutrients found in cocoa can help to lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes by reducing blood clots, dilate blood vessels, regulate heartbeat, and improve circulation, lower bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Chocolate can keep you in shape
Eating a few squares of dark, sugar-free chocolate can help regulate your appetite and reduce the risk of overeating at meal times. It’s the MAO (Monoamine Oxidase) inhibitors found in cocoa that are responsible for keeping your appetite in check.
These MAO inhibitors in cocoa allow more serotonin and other neurotransmitters to circulate in the brain: facilitating youth regeneration and rejuvenation and encouraging weight loss naturally by diminishing the urge to overeat.
Chocolate can improve cognitive function
Researchers have suggested that regular chocolate intake could help “protect against normal age-related cognitive decline.” Everything from visual-spacial memory to organisation, working memory, scanning and abstract reasoning has been seen to improve with regular intake of chocolate.
What The Best Quantity and Type of Chocolate For Diet
It would depend on the quantity and type of chocolate. Some Quora user give us advise Arjun Gill with list a few important points to consider below:
- Dark chocolate is high in fat, including saturated fats. While a certain amount of fat is acceptable in the diet, dark chocolate does contain a very large amount. Higher cocoa percentages will result in more fat, but lower cocoa percentages will typically result in more sugar.
- Dark chocolate contains more theobromine, which is a stimulant. This can make it hard to sleep or focus.
- While chocolate with over 40% cocoa can legally be marketed as dark chocolate, most food experts do not regard chocolate under 70% cocoa as dark chocolate. Higher cocoa is in most aspects healthier.
- Dark chocolate has been shown to contain antioxidants and lower blood pressure.
To sum it up, dark chocolate (70% cocoa+) is healthier than milk chocolate. I would not recommend exceeding 50 grams a day or 100g in a week (whichever is less). Nothing medically significant will happen if you go over, but it will introduce an excessive amount of fat to your diet.