Why We Should Start Eating Chocolate for Breakfast
If you’ve been locking chocolate strictly in the dessert category, you’re missing out. Chocolate has been used since ancient times to treat many health problems and has proven to be an irreplaceable asset to any diet. So, if you want to eat chocolate every day, especially for breakfast, now you have an excuse — or 7.
Bright Side studied the benefits of chocolate as a morning meal and wants to share them with you. You’ll also learn how to include chocolate in your food at the end of the article.
1. It improves your brainpower.
People who eat dark chocolate at least once per week tend to perform better in various mental and memory tests, a study found. Flavanols in cocoa increase the blood flow to the brain and they gather in parts of the brain that are responsible for learning and memory. So, if you want to give your brain a kickstart, especially before exams, morning chocolate is an A-plus strategy to do this.
2. It calms your cravings.
Eating chocolate seems like the last way to lose weight, but a morning bar can reduce bad eating habits by calming your cravings for the rest of the day. It helps regulate your appetite and decreases your risk of overeating. Research has shown, that a high-calorie breakfast involving chocolate helps cut calories throughout the day.
3. It is a natural mood booster.
Mornings can be hard and it’s better to put yourself in the right mood at the start of the day. Chocolate can improve your mood and promote positive feelings. Eating chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins and interacts with our other “feel-good” chemicals — serotonin and dopamine. Chocolate is also noted for its anti-depressant effect.
4. It is good for your health.
It turns out that people who eat more chocolate per day have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Eating dark chocolate is a great exercise workout for the heart: it lowers blood pressure and helps the blood vessels to relax thanks to the nitric oxide produced by flavonoids.
Healthy amounts of dark chocolate that are rich in cacao can also improve how our body metabolizes glucose, thus helping to fight off diabetes. Finally, dark chocolate can drop the levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, which can clog arteries in high amounts, and raise the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. While all those benefits are not restricted to morning consumption, overall, chocolate will make a healthy day-starter.
5. It helps you switch to work mode.
Just as coffee beans and tea, cocoa contains caffeine. The amount can vary, but as the rule, the darker chocolate has more caffeine in it, with white chocolate having none. And like other caffeinated foods, chocolate makes you more alert and wakeful. Another chemical from cacao is theobromine. It gives chocolate its bitter taste and raises your energy level — just what you need in the morning.
6. It’s nutritious and supports our immune system.
On top of all the other benefits, chocolate is packed with nutrients. Any 70% dark chocolate bar contains antioxidants (even more than green tea!), calcium, copper, potassium, and magnesium. Flavanols will help to fight off cell damage caused by the oxidants we are exposed to on a daily basis: things like cigarette smoke, air pollution, and alcohol. So, get yourself protected with cocoa before leaving home.
7. It will aid your morning workout.
We’ve already covered why chocolate milk is a superior workout drink, and these reasons are true when it comes to solid chocolate as well. Dark chocolate boosts nitric oxide levels and provides better muscle recovery and growth, which makes it a good idea to add some dark chocolate or cocoa into your pre- or post-workout morning meal.
Bonus: Ways to add chocolate to your breakfast
If munching a bar of dark chocolate is not your thing, there are a lot of other ways to incorporate chocolate into your meal. As long as you can sneak some cocoa powder into your breakfast, it’s fine.
- Smoothie and protein shakes. A scoop of cocoa or chocolate sauce will easily supercharge an already healthy breakfast.
- Hot chocolate. Forget morning tea or coffee, hot cocoa is the new cool. But if you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can try mocha, a coffee-based drink with some additional hot chocolate. Also, drinking hot chocolate on a regular basis boosts your memory and cognitive abilities.
- Chocolate chips, spread, or cocoa in a pastry. If you bake bread or pastries yourself, add cocoa powder to the dough. Or add chocolate chips. Little hint: chocolate goes way too well with banana bread.
- Chocolate bar. Energy bars, while rather pricy in stores, are actually easy to make at home — and they’re super customizable. So, if you prepare a bunch with added chocolate in them, you have a fast and healthy portable breakfast for a few days.
- Chocolate granola and oatmeal. Add chocolate chips or cocoa powder while making oatmeal (hot or overnight) or homemade granola.
Which chocolate do you prefer? If you have some special recipe involving chocolate, share it with us!