Valentine’s Day is round the corner and that means a lot of sweet indulgences over the next few days and beyond.
Let’s face it, who doesn’t love chocolates?
They are always a welcome treat, aren’t they? Whether it’s the craving for chocolate after meals, or as a quick snack sized bite with the afternoon coffee; the simple truth is sweet treats especially chocolate is welcome at anytime of the day.
There is plethora of chocolate varieties easily available today, so it’s easy to reach out for these highly processed foods.
However long term over consumption of sweet treats can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance which is a precursor to Type 2 Diabetes and sugar addiction!
Yes! Sugar is addictive thanks to an opiod like effect it has on our brains- which makes us feel good, soothes us and makes us want more of it.
So how can you have your chocolate and eat it too?
The answer is to go ‘natural’ in your choices.
Here are some natural foods you should go for which are both healthy and satisfying, so you can enjoy chocolate guilt free.
Cocoa beans contain many substances that have earned them the title of “Nature’s Anti-depressant”.
There are actually three neurotransmitters in these dark, delicious beans – serotonin, dopamine and phenylethylamine (PEA) – all of which support a positive mood and healthy mental state. These powerful brain chemicals impart a feeling of “being in love” when cocoa is enjoyed.
But the benefits don’t end there! Cacao is also a “Super food” which has antioxidants and Magnesium which helps in muscle relaxation
Honey or Maple Syrup:
Honey, especially raw honey is better than white sugar, because it contains only about 30% glucose, 40% fructose and around 20% mix of sugars which are more complex in nature to break down. So the body has to expend more energy to break it down and it doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels like white sugar would.
The biggest plus with honey is that it’s all natural without added preservatives or chemicals, and may even contain races of zinc, selenium and some vitamins depending on where it’s collected from.
It is made from the sap collected from maple trees which has been evaporated under heat to release the sugars. Maple syrup’s glycemic index is close to that of sugar at around 54, so caution is needed when consuming excess of it.
It also contains antioxidants and minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and manganese.
This is yet another super food!
The saturated fat in coconuts and coconut oil is medium chain in length and easily absorbed into the body. This means that energy from coconut fat burns up faster with less accumulation of fatty deposits that we all want to avoid.
The medium chain fat in coconut has actually been called “the world’s only low-calorie fat” because it metabolizes much like carbohydrates serving as a readily available, long-lasting energy sources of the body.
Plus coconut is naturally sweet, high in fiber and, like other nuts, provides an excellent source of B vitamins, iron and zinc.
Meet Vitamin L (aka the Vitamin LOVE!)
Ok, I don’t mean to sound cheesy, but hey this one vitamin is quite important when it comes to the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of anyone. What’s even better is that there is never a risk of overdose of this vitamin.
Vitamin L is an energizing and a feel good vitamin as it soothes the nervous system and boosts adrenaline and other ‘good hormones’, making it vital for both healing and in everyday living.
The need for Vitamin L increases in times of anger, frustration, sickness, fear, anxiety, pain and stress.
The most abundant sources of Vitamin L are mom, dad, grandparents, friends, your soul mate, pets and in case of celebrities- their raving fans!
And ofcourse this time of the year calls for a special attention to this vitamin, make sure you give it in abundance to your loved ones now and always. The best part is that you will never be deficient in it. Infact the more you give it, the more you’ll get back!
How fun is that?
Now let’s look at some delicious yet super quick recipes that will satisfy your chocolate cravings with small bite sized portions.
What makes them even better is that most of them are made with as little as just 5 ingredients!
Just click on each to take you to the recipe!
Be sure to let me know if you made any of these recipes for your sweetheart on Val day!
EatRightFeelBetterLookGood #EasyPracticalNutrition #SustainableLifestyle