There are few foods I can’t live without. Chocolate is one of them. The good news about chocolate is that it’s healthy. Chocolate is made from plants and contain many of the same health benefits of dark vegetables. The flavonoids act as antioxidants. Antioxidants are the anti-aging components that slow the oxidation of the body and fight off free radicals which create inflammation.
A recent study noted in the American Journal of Bariatric Medicine (2011, Vol 26, No. 2) highlights a new weight loss study using a high antioxidant cocoa meal replacement and lifestyle intervention. The “Chocolate Diet” integrated a high antioxidant meal replacement from Xocai using raw unprocessed cocoa with 8 grams of fiber, 21 grams of whey isolate protein, 3 grams of fat from chia oil, and 0.5 grams of sugar. Each meal replacement totaled 190 calories. The participants ranged in age from 26 to 73 years.
They were required to participate in a weekly support call with one of the physicians and consume two meal replacements a day and, for the third meal, eat a sensible high protein low carbohydrate meal of their choice totaling 1,200 kcal per day for women and 1,500 kcal per day for men. All of the 50 participants who started completed the study. Each was encouraged to exercise by at least walking. All participants had their meal replacements furnished and monetary rewards were given to the winners of the group. The fifty participants were monitored by each other in addition to the monitoring from the physicians and other staff on a weekly phone call.
If you are interested in trying this type of diet, check out .
Other foods we know are rich in anti-oxidants are cranberries, blackberries, blueberries, beans and artichokes and spices like clove, cinnamon and oregano. If you don’t like spinach, then try chocolate for your daily dose of antioxidants.
Andrea Metcalf is a healthy lifestyle expert and author of Naked Fitness (Vanguard Press). She contributes weekly to NBC Chicago Monday mornings at 6:30 am, Good Day Radio with Doug Stephen, Thursdays 8am EST, and Better TV nationally.