Hi PIH Friends!
February is here! Do you know what that means? Today we celebrate National Dark Chocolate Day. Health professionals normally say “Chocolate is bad for you”, etc, however, we have our Health Coach, Camille Jolibois, here to tell us about the benefits of chocolate! Enjoy the 411 on chocolate, deals on chocolate products, and more details of upcoming events.
Healthy Habits & Hacks
Chocolate Bliss by Camille Jolibois, RN, HC
Whether you enjoy milk chocolate, dark chocolate, hot cocoa, or lava cake, chocolate leaves us all feeling more calm, less stressed, and generally happier about life. We all have experienced the positive, blissful impacts of that chocolatey goodness, however, now research has revealed that it may be more than just sugar or nostalgia that makes chocolate so powerful. Chocolate has mood altering compounds that stimulate the release of two “happy hormones” — dopamine and serotonin. These neurochemicals work in the brain to help you feel calm, happy, and focused.
The two compounds in chocolate responsible for that blissful state are phenylethylamine and tyramine. Phenylethylamine acts like an amphetamine and can stimulate brain cells to release serotonin. Tyramine, a compound derived from the amino acid tyrosine, works in a similar way to promote the effects of dopamine. Increased dopamine and serotonin levels can lead to euphoria, bliss, and enhanced motivation and concentration — No wonder we all crave chocolate so much!
Here are just a few of the amazing benefits of chocolate:
- HIGH IN NUTRIENTS — Dark chocolate (>75% cacao) is high in fiber, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.
- HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS — Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants that include polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins.
- IMPROVES BRAIN FUNCTION & MENTAL FOCUS — Though research is ongoing, there is evidence that flavonols may increase blood flow to the brain having an overall positive impact on brain function including better reaction time, visual-spatial awareness, and improved memory.
- IMPROVES CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH — One-third of the fat in cocoa butter gets converted to oleic acid in the body which helps regulate cholesterol levels by lowering LDL cholesterol (aka “bad”) while increasing HDL cholesterol (aka “good”). This may lead to a reduced risk of heart disease.
- REDUCES STRESS — In a 2009 research study, people who ate dark chocolate reported that they felt less stressed. Through this study, researchers found that consumption of just 1 ounce of chocolate per day for two weeks reduced the participants’ cortisol levels, thus revealing the reduction of overall stress.
After reading all of those amazing benefits, you may be wondering does all chocolate contain these powerful benefits? Unfortunately, no. Not all chocolate is created equal, but here are a few tips when shopping for chocolate:
- Choose minimally processed chocolate. Brands we recommend: FX chocolate, Lily’s, Theo, Alter Eco, Hu, Eating Evolved, Raka
- Choose >70% cacao content. Most of the benefits seen in research are associated with chocolate that has at least a 70% cacao content. The higher the cocoa content, the more beneficial flavonols the chocolate contains.
- Choose minimally processed dark chocolate.
- Consume an ounce as an occasional treat.
- Always check the label. Be aware of the sugar content and try to purchase chocolate with little added sugar (we recommend less than 9 grams per serving).
In the end, if you choose to indulge in an occasional chocolate treat, try to choose the brands with a higher cacao percentage and lower sugar content. Dark chocolate has many health benefits and can definitely be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.
And because it’s the month of love… Chocolate is also known as an aphrodisiac, so it’s the perfect occasion to indulge with your loved one on Valentine’s Day! 😉
Our goal is to provide our Kansas City community with plenty of opportunities to expand their nutrition education – this means educational classes, yoga, and cooking skills, too!
We’re excited to announce that Brittany, our functional nutritionist, will be hosting LIVE Cooking Demonstrations the last Friday of each month in 2023! Cooking demonstrations will be whipping up a recipe tailored to a different therapeutic food plan. This includes, but is not limited to Keto, Paleo, AIP, and Low FODMAP. The second Wednesday of each month will be a community class on various topics.
- Small Group Yoga ~ Each Friday @ Noon
Yoga is an excellent form of exercise & can be done by anyone at any level. Join Tricia as she gives small group yoga classes to KC!
Community Class-Leaky Gut ~ February 8 @ 6pm
Brittany, our functional nutritionist, uncovers one of the hidden epidemics of today… leaky gut syndrome. Many of our most common modern health conditions and diseases are a result of increased intestinal permeability; a.k.a leaky gut syndrome.
Sneak Peak! AIP Cooking Class ~ March 3 @ 6pm
The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet aims to support the gut lining and ease autoimmune symptoms by avoiding foods tied to inflammation.
Empowerment Over Diabetes
Our virtual group program, Empowerment Over Diabetes, begins mid-March. This program has changed the lives of hundreds of people across the United States and they can do the same for you!
We are reaching out to give you the opportunity to join this program.
Empowerment Over Diabetes will deliver:
- Clarity surrounding YOUR health goals and how to SUCCEED!
- Delicious recipes, nutrition guides and shopping lists to take the guess-work out of healthy eating.
- Daily content and tasks delivered directly to your phone to keep you engaged in your healing journey!
- Knowledgeable and caring practitioners you can go to with questions or concerns.
- Weekly accountability check-ins to help keep you on track!
If you have been waiting for the “right moment” to invest in your health…continue reading to find out why that time is NOW!
How would you like to say goodbye to most, if not ALL of your diabetes medications? (and have better blood sugar numbers OFF medications than they were ON medications)
This is possible when you discover the 4 Pillars of Health that helps you slow your biological clock, enhance how you look and feel, ditch stubborn weight & banish low energy for good!
Empowerment Over Diabetes is our comprehensive 12-week virtual group program. We help participants adopt the diet, lifestyle, and mindset needed to prevent, significantly improve, or even reverse type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and obesity…without the use of medications or surgery.
Our team of healthcare professionals is eager to help you implement the CORE 4 that drive sustained, long-term metabolic health.
We’ll teach you how to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to managing your own glucose levels and your overall health…WITHOUT relying on medications for the rest of your life that may or may not work in the long-term.
Do you have a spouse or friend who would like to join us? Fantastic! We give back when you refer and bring on those individuals with you to the program.
Contact us at email@example.com or call 816-226-5050, ext. 1 to learn about our incentive program for referrals!
Sign-up by February 10 because spots are limited! Early birds who sign up before that date get $100 off!
February Featured Products
Organo Mushroom Infused Hot Cocoa
Organo™ Gourmet Hot Cocoa is a delicious blend of rich cocoa and ganoderma lucidum used in Chinese tradition for its immune benefits to make an instant chocolate drink for the whole family to enjoy.
Cost: $39 per box (box of 15 sachets)
FX Chocolate Bars
Dairy-Free, Keto Friendly, Sugar Free, Gluten-Free, Small Batch chocolate that has the power of a pill. Grab something to help you focus during the day, relax at the end of the night, the immune system pick-me-up, or a sleepy chocolate!
Cost: $24 per box (15 servings per box)
Winter hydration at its best! A tasty electrolyte drink mix that is formulated to help anyone with their electrolyte needs and is perfectly suited to folks following a keto, low-carb, or paleo diet. Enjoy one of the chocolate medley drinks hot OR cold!
Cost: $2 per packet
You are a vital part of the PIH Community, we encourage you to make intentional choices with your health in mind… your future self will thank you! Be sure share us with friends and family.