Monday, February 23, 2015

Is Chocolate Nature's Prescription for Better Health, Beautiful Skin and Gorgeous Hair?

Is Chocolate Nature's Prescription for Better Health, Beautiful Skin and Gorgeous Hair?You read that right! Chocolate is 'chock' full of antioxidant rich nutrients that are necessary  for healthy skin, hair, vitality and stress levels!  Aren't you glad to know that?

This doesn't mean reaching for your favorite candy bar every time a craving comes 'a knockin'! It does mean however, that when you do have that craving, that there are some beneficial choices out there. Here's how to find them. 

Natural groceries tend to have the best options for you. But regardless, you want to 
find a bar with the highest cocoa/cacao content.  The higher the percentage/content, the less room there will be for unhealthy fillers and fats. (The things that make other candy bars so cheap and damaging to your beautiful health.. and skin!) Try to get one with less sugar, of course and drink a lot of water! The caffeine content in high percentages of cacao can be dehydrating. So, make sure to get the full benefits by staying hydrated! 

Antioxidant Rich: Chocolate is loaded with winning antioxidants.  And what are antioxidants good for? They rid the body of free radicals; those menacing little molecules creating the havoc in your body responsible for aging, disease and even cancer! The antioxidants bond themselves to the free radicals and pretty much walk the plank with them to make sure they are disposed of properly.

Can you think of some other foods that contain antioxidants?   Pomegranates, blueberries, green tea, red wine, gogi berries?  ...  Would you believe that chocolate beats all their numbers??

The USDA published a chart of antioxidant foods measured by ORAC's (Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity Units).  For each 100 grams, the cacao in dark chocolate has 13,120 ORACs while blueberries only have 2,400! That's absolutely incredible! So, consuming a balanced diet that is rich in antioxidants has the ability to lower the risk of heart attacks, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, cancer, asthma, Alzheimer's and more.

While I could dedicate a whole page to just the antioxidant benefits, I'm going to move on the the exterior perks you are free to enjoy! 

Skin Protection: 
The cacao bean also contains various essential nutrients which help you to stay healthny and beautiful. With great sun protection properties, it has the power to shield your skin from harmful UV rays, preventing sensitive conditions like sunburns and skin cancer. Regular dark chocolate consumption also helps you achieve that sought after smooth, problem free glow, as it keeps your skin moist and well nourished.

Exfoliation: Not just for eating, this magical bean can be used in combination with coffee beans for efficient exfoliating! It detoxifies and sloughs off the dead skin cells and allows the newly exposed, fresh skin to breathe freely.
Less Stress: Stress can really mess with your work, home and general quality of life. Dark chocolate boasts wonderful stress-relieving qualities and works wonders in getting you a glowing skin (more skin benefits!) by reducing elevated stress hormones. .....ah...  dopamine! 
Hair: Cacao is a great aid in promoting blood circulation in the scalp which leads to increased growth of healthy, lustrous locks, reducing hair loss. In addition to that, it's anti-inflammatory nature helps minimize the odds of getting scalp infections.  Infused with the goodness of several hair-benefiting ingredients, dark chocolate improves the overall health of your tresses, making them shiny, sleek and voluminous.
I hope you found this article helpful and inspirational toward better care of your overall health. To be honest, there are even more benefits that I encourage you to explore on your own and please, share them in the comments below! 
In the meantime, if you so find yourself wanting to indulge a little bit more into your sweet tooth and have a celebration to prepare for, please let us know!  At Ontario Bakery we are always ready to make your life a little sweeter. 

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