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How Chocolate Can Be Part Of Your Fitness Strategy

Feb 11, 2008
Isn't chocolate wonderful? Aren't January diets a nightmare? Well yes actually - to both. Nevertheless both are as important as the other. Your diet is essential. You want to get yourself fit and lean in preparation for the summer and after the excesses of winter you are felling a little bit over fed and under exercised. Nevertheless that shouldn't mean you have to miss out on the occasional indulgence - should it? Well actually no it shouldn't. Sweet foods and in particular chocolate can fit into a well balanced diet and can even be part of a fitness strategy.

Chocolate has been utilised as a fantastic resource of energy for a number of years. Sportsmen and women allow themselves the occasional bar of chocolate as part of their diet and army rations have almost always included a large bar of chocolate. There has been a great deal of research that has concluded that certain types of chocolate are good for you. In particular chocolate that contains high levels of cocoa is considered to be the healthiest type. Chocolate with a cocoa content above 70% has been recognised as offering a number of benefits. For starters it offers a number of nutrients that can be sparse in other foods for example iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, B1, C, D and E and most significantly magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency has links with hypertension, pre-menstrual tension, heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems. The suggestion is that chocolate can therefore go some way to improving your ability to reduce the effects of these problems. So alongside the positive effects of chocolate on the cardiovascular system chocolate can be a method reducing mood swings in pre-menstrual women. This is not just a convenient excuse for moody women to seat chocolate! Pre-menstrual women experience a drop in their progesterone levels and this is what is responsible for violent mood swings. Increased intake of magnesium in the diet diminishes the effects of this drop and helps alleviate the problem.

A good diet should approximately consist of the following; around 40 percent should come from the carbohydrate group - foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and cereals. 25 percent of your diet should be vegetables. Around 12.5 percent should be made up of fruit and a further 12.5 percent should be made milk, yoghurt and cheese. The further 10 percent should be made up lean meat, fish, poultry and eggs. Alongside drinking a great deal of water you can also include a number of sweet items such as chocolate occasionally.

The best use of chocolate in your training diet is to use it as a reward. Setting yourself targets for your training schedule and giving yourself a reward when it is achieved can be a fantastic way of utilising chocolate in your schedule. After all there is nothing more rewarding after a hard session at the gym or a long run than a nice piece of chocolate. It will taste even sweeter in the knowledge that you have earned it.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is an expert on corporate chocolates. He advises men to get their loved ones Valentines day chocolates.
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