Friday night, glass of rich red wine and a few pieces of dark chocolate. What can be better, after a long week at work?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that we should not have either of those while dieting, however, in fact, chocolate greatly improves our bodily functions and provides our organisms with the necessary components of a healthy diet.
Likewise, wine in limited amounts does good rather than bad, so there is no reason to feel like you broke a pact with yourself, once you ordered a glass of wine or are enjoying a few pieces of dark chocolate in front of the TV.
Benefits of dark chocolate
First lets discuss the benefits of including dark chocolate into your diet. Eating a bite of chocolate for breakfast also boost your productivity and short term memory throughout the day, because it contains caffeine and theobromine.
The bioreactive compounds also result in an instant in decreasing blood pressure, because they improve blood flow through our arteries. The powerful antioxidants that it contains also leave you feeling energized and your body ready to power through the day.
Many of us do not know the reason why antioxidants are so good for us, so I am here to explain. The oxidation process of different molecules in our bodies is harmful to our bodies.
Without antioxidants, our DNA and lipid cells as well as cell membranes in general would become very damaged and that could eventually lead to deterioration of the eye lens (blindness), accelerated aging, damage to nerve cells (which could eventually lead to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) and increased risk of heart disease.
To sum this up, antioxidants are extremely vital to our well-being and even though our bodies produce these chemicals, it is important to eat foods like berries, pecans, and dark chocolate.
Is there really a lot of sugar?
Another misconception about dark chocolate is that it contains a lot of sugar, and that means excess calories. However, if you buy chocolate of high quality, made out of rich cocoa beans, you will be surprised at the amount of minerals that it contains.
Fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and others are very beneficial to our health.
Fiber aids with digestion (therefore leading to the loss of unnecessary weight), improves heart and skin health and controls the amount of sugar in your blood.
Iron is necessary for the formation of haemoglobin and the circulation of blood.
Magnesium can treat high blood pressure, lowers stress and anxiety, induces healthy sleep and can even help overcome alcoholism.
Potassium has been shown to boost brain function and reduce the risk of coronary diseases.
Phosphorus, improves bone health and optimizes our metabolic systems just like manganese, which in addition, reduces fatigue and inflammation.
Zinc is also beneficial when wanting to lose some extra pounds, and improving skin health (like minimizing acne).
Benefits of wine
Now, onto the topic of red wine. I think we have all heard about the studies that state that alcohol kills many brain cells and in the long term, cause nothing but damage to our bodies.
However, in a way, this is just a delusion. Like many other foods and substances, whenever anything is consumed in excess it has negative side-effects on our bodies, but once ingested in acceptable amounts, there are many benefits of having a glass one wine from your new wine cooler a day.
It improves brain function
Firstly, it improves brain function and aids in the preservation of memory. In fact, there was even a study conducted in the 70s that stated that women that drank a glass of wine a fay, score higher than those that didn’t.
Burn extra calories
The immune system benefits from wine as well, and contributes to weight loss. It is proven that show that alcohol encourages your body to burn extra calories for 90 minutes after drinking a glass of red wine, and there are studies that show that moderate female drinkers have a narrower waist and less abdominal fat than those that do not consume alcohol at all.
Higher bone mass
Alcohol also boost estrogen levels and that appears to slow the body’s destruction of bone leading to a higher bone mass. There are studies that show that women that drink a glass of wine a day are less likely to get ovarian cancer and have diabetes.
To sum everything up, yes you can enjoy your evenings by treating yourself to wine and chocolate in moderation, like a glass of Merlot with a piece of flavourful dark chocolate.
As a result you may well have a healthier immune system as well as a better mood.
This guest post was written by Amily Branch exclusively for Social Vignerons.
All images courtesy of Pixabay.com
About Amily Blanch
A longtime vegan, red wine advocate and health ambassador. Member of a team of freelance writers from New York publishing product reviews for Consumerion site and recipes for the Secrets of Vegan Baking blog.