How much chocolate do you need for optimal health?

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The type and amount matters when it comes to heart and performance effects.

 

The health benefits of raw chocolate are widely known—especially its effect on your heart. But new research is finding that chocolate may help boost your performance. Here's what you need to know before breaking off a square (or two).

 

Go Raw For Your Heart
Studies have found that a daily square of raw chocolate can improve your heart health thanks to its flavanols, which serve as antioxidants. One study from 2012 showed that a small dose of dark chocolate could decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke by nearly 40 percent. 

But it matters what type of raw chocolate you nibble on. For the heart health benefits, reach for something minimally processed, which retains more of the anti-oxidant powers. 

 

Minimal Processing = Better Performance


New research is finding that—the least processed the cacao you get the more health benefits it's going to have—and will have a higher performance-boosting effect. 

Recent U.K. studies show that epicatechin, an antioxidant found in the cacao bean, will give you increased performance benefits.

The study, while small, showed that cyclists who consumed 40 grams of raw chocolate a day displayed massive improvements in distance compared to their performance after consuming milk chocolate. 

Milk chocolate is highly processed, which means it’s lost most, if not all, of its epicatechin. 

“The more chocolate is processed the more antioxidant flavonols, including epicatechin, are lost,” said Monique Ryan, M.S., R.D.N., the author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes.

Raw Chocolate has high levels of epicatechin, study co-author Rishikesh Patel told Runner’s World. And a 2014 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found it to improve blood flow in arteries.

 


 

The Takeaway
The more processed the chocolate, the less of the good stuff (heart-healthy antioxidants and epicatechin) there is. 

Wilde Chocolate uses minimally processed raw cacao beans from Ecudaor to make their chocolate bars with. Which means you can get all of the amazing health benefits in one delicious chocolate bar!

 

 

 

Take a Selfie With Your Favorite Wilde Chocolate Bar and Post It on Instagram with #LoveWilde for Your Chance to Win $500 of Free Chocolate!

Learn More About Wilde Chocolate Made with Raw Cacao Beans Here!

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  • Stuart Jones
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