Chocolate, Continued: Choosing The Right Kind

Image courtesy of Adlib


Choosing the right kind of chocolate will provide many health benefits that make it not only “good for you” but better for your body than most of the fruits and vegetables your mother made you eat when you were a child.” In general, the healthiest kinds of chocolates are determined by how it is grown, handled, and processed:

1. raw, organic (or non-organic if you can’t find organic), unprocessed, unroasted cacao beans (called “nibs”) or cocoa mass;

2. organic and unroasted cocoa powder not treated with alkalis;

3. organic dark chocolate with the highest percentage of cocoa liquor or cocoa powder and the lowest percentage of refined sugar (bitter or semi-sweet dark chocolate).

4.unsweetened and dairy-free chocolate.


The truth is that cocoa is a complex food. There are over 300 different NUTRIENT components found in cocoa.

Resveratrol (a super antioxidant!)

Anandamide (a neurotransmitter known as “the bliss chemical”)

Arginine (nature’s aphrodisiac)

Dopamine (a neurotransmitter)

Epicatechins (antiaging / anti-inflammatory properties)

Magnesium (for healthy heart function)

Serotonin (anti-stress neurotransmitter)

Tryptophan (anti-depressant amino acid)

Phenylethylamine (PEA) (controls the ability to focus attention and stay alert)

Polyphenols (a large class of compounds providing the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of fruits and veggies.






MAO inhibitors ( Allow serotonin and other neurotransmitters to circulate in the Brain)

Cocoa butter (a neutral fat consisting of oleic, stearic, and palmitic fatty acids)

Sulfur (helps build strong nails and hair, promotes healthy and beautiful skin, helps detoxify the liver, and supports healthy functioning of the pancreas)

Flavanols (help make blood platelets less likely to stick together and cause blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.).

This information was gleaned from a report entitled ’Healthy ChocolateScience Update 2009,’written by Dr. Steven Warren.  Regular, healthy consumption of cocoa’s nutrients will. . .

• Increase HDL (good) cholesterol by 9 percent, and reduce LLD (bad) cholesterol by 6 percent, within two week!

• Helps blood vessels dilate, thus increases blood flow to heart

• Within four weeks can reduce both diastolic and systolic blood pressure readings by 8.2 percent

• Improves body’s ability to use insulin, and restricts insulin resistance that leads to diabetes

• Lowers risk of diabetes

• Repairs cells in the liver, especially following long-term alcohol abuse

• Improves mental acuity and memory

• Reduces cardiovascular mortality rate

• Protects heart muscles following heart attacks

• Improves pancreatic functions

• Greatly increases antioxidants in the body, compounds that neutralize free radicals that many doctors now are suspecting as a cause of cancer and some heart diseases

• Decreases the risk of dementia, stroke, and other vascular cognitive impairment

• Blocks the production of lipoxygenase, a contributor to asthma

• Fights depression and elevate mood.

• Because flavonols in cocoa generate increased production of the protein adiponectin, which regulates blood sugar and breaks down fat, threats of diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are decreased

• Reduces dental cavities, plaque, and gum disease

• Suppression of toxic effects caused by dioxins (environmental poisons)

• Substantially increases a person’s energy level, since it contains two stimulating methylxanthines – a significant amount of theobromine and a small amount of caffeine.

• The flavanols in cocoa make blood platelets less likely to stick together and cause blood clots.

• Dark chocolate can help you lose weight! Because it has appetite-suppressant properties, cocoa is often added to weight loss products to help control hunger.

• Cocoa flavanols positively influence the immune system and decrease inflammation, promoting healing in the body


This fun report about chocolate is provided for your enjoyment courtesy of

Don’t forget the CrossFit Open BBQ on Sunday, March 25th starting approximately 2:00pm.  We are supplying burgers and hotdogs.  Feel free to bring something to share with the group (Appy, salad, dessert, etc). Anyone bringing chocolate?  If you are planning on having any beverages, make sure to plan a safe ride home 🙂

Today’s Workout:

Buy In – Coach led plyometric foot drills (10 – 15 minutes)

* Use the low plyo boxes, tires or olympic plates
* If you are using a higher box, watch out for those shins!
* 15-30 second intervals

WOD – “Sumo Burps”

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 Reps for time:

  • Sumo Deadlift High Pull (65lbs/95lbs)
  • Burpees

Games Prep – Upgrade SDHP to 85lbs/125lbs
Zone 3 – scale SDHP to 55lbs/75lbs
Zone 2 – scale reps to 21-15-9-6-3
Zone 1 – scale as needed

Cash Out – MWOD

* Roll out the back of the shoulders with a lacrosse ball
* Get into the glutes with a lacrosse ball while in figure four stretch
* Stretch out those angry bits! Ask your coach for some stretches



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