Tis the season of chocolate!

 

Easter is only a couple of days away and of course the shelves in the shops are jam packed with Easter eggs. I love love love chocolate. It’s one of those that if I know it’s in the cupboard it calls me to go eat it. If it’s not there, then I don’t really miss it. Out for a meal, if chocolate dessert is on the menu then it’s a no brainer. So why do so many of us love chocolate? Has to be the sugar. Yes I know sugar is the devil but let’s face it we all have to indulge every now and then.

So with this in mind, do you know though there are healthy chocolate options out there?

 

1. Guilt free chocolate options

 

If you want pure chocolate then you need to think raw, organic, fairtrade, GMO-free treats that are proven to have health benefits without sacrificing taste. Raw Cacao in its raw form has been proven to have anti-oxidant benefits and nutrients. It contains magnesium, iron and potassium which all help to produce energy for us to function, they strengthen bones, muscles and teeth and aid good blood circulation. Raw chocolate also contains flavonoids known to lower blood pressure and increase the good form of cholesterol (HDL – high density lipids) in blood and phenylethylamine which is thought to boost one’s mood.

 

2. Shake that choc

 

If you want a chocolate fix but don’t want the sugary based calories why not try a chocolate protein shake. Just buy the powder and add water.

 

3. Mocha me up

 

One of my favourite hot drinks is a mocha. If I have this I find it halts my sugar craving. Turn a classic cup of coffee in to a healthy sweet treat. By adding a spoonful of cacao or cocoa powder and a little milk you won’t be disappointed. Did you know cocoa powder contains the most anti-oxidant-packed pure cacao of all the chocolate choices in the baking aisle.

I also add cacao powder to my fruit smoothie in the morning and it’s delicious. Almost like drinking a black forest gateaux now that can’t be bad and it’s healthy with the berries, cherries and almond milk.

4. Go dark!

 

If you need to eat chocolate but still want to be healthy then go for chocolate with 70% cacao or higher to get your antioxidant benefits without all the other additives in other types of chocolate.

 

5. Fondue

 

Melt chocolate and dip in your favourite fruit. Strawberries, banana and orange segments are a good option. You will fill fuller for longer with the fruit fibre content and again go for berries and oranges and you will get a double boost of health. Read my blog last week on the health benefits of these colourful fruits.

 

And after all the chocolate eating why not get outdoors and become super active by doing an Easter egg hunt or if this is not your thing just go for a walk with family and friends. Nothing better than fresh air and good company.

 

Happy Easter everyone 

 



About the Author

About Wendy McCloud

Wendy is the founder of The South East’s Leading Specialist Private Physiotherapy Practice for People in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, who want to keep healthy and active.

Wendy’s background includes working as an Extended Scope Practitioner Physiotherapist working as part of Mr. Ali Al-Sabti’s Orthopaedic Consultant’s team specialising in Shoulder Pain.

Wendy has treated royalty for Shoulder pain through referrals from her close links with a top Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeons. More recently Wendy has been the sole choice physiotherapist for all Essex based referrals from London Shoulder surgeon Mr. Matthew Sala.

Wendy worked in National Level Rugby Union for 11 years, working with players who achieved county honours and representative honours for various countries such as England, Samoa, Australia and New Zealand. Wendy resigned from her position as Head Physiotherapist at Southend RFC in June 2011 to open WDC which has become the fastest growing clinic in the South East of England.

WDC is now a large multi-therapist speciality practice in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.