Food for Thought: Chocolate is a Key Superfood

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 /by

As a sports nutritionist who works with professional and competitive athletes, including tennis players, I’m always on the lookout for tips and tricks that give my clients an edge. An in my 10-plus years of practice, not a week goes by that we don’t learn more about how particular foods and nutrients help the body operate like a well-oiled machine. Each one of your body’s 100 trillion cells relies solely on what you eat and drink to fuel your performance and help you recover. And while sports nutrition isn’t an exact science, there are plenty of tried and true techniques every tennis player should know.


The 20 Things You Need to Know About Nutrition


13. Chocolate is a Key Superfood
In addition to being a feel-good food, dark chocolate may be life-saving. One study found that heart-attack survivors who ate chocolate just twice a week over a two-year period cut their risk of dying from heart disease threefold. Another reported that when women ate dark chocolate daily for just seven days, their levels of “bad” cholesterol, LDL, dropped by six percent, and their levels of HDL, the “good” kind, rose by nine percent. Dark chocolate is also linked to a reduction in the risk of stroke, reduced inflammation and better blood pressure control. Indulge in a small amount each day, up to an ounce. Look for 70 percent dark or greater for the most antioxidants.

More:

1. Your Diet Impacts Your Brain Function
2. The Right Breakfast Fights Hunger All Day
3. Food Can Fight Pain
4. Don't Run on Empty
5. Sleep Matters ... A Lot
6. Omega-3s Are Beyond Essential
7. Milk Does More Than Double Duty
8. Don't Get Fooled by the Afterburn Myth
9. Organic Food is Worth the Extra Money
10. Alcohol May Weaken Muscle
11. Relying on the Sun for Vitamin D May Be a Mistake
12. Spices are a Secret Weapon
13. Chocolate is a Key Superfood
14. Buyer Beware When it Comes to Supplements
15. A Little Vitamin C Makes a Big Difference
16. Variety Trumps Quantity for Fruits & Veggies
17. Drinking Water May Help You Lose Weight
18. Bacteria Are Critical to Your Health
19. Calcium Isn't Just for Strong Bones
20. Let an Expert Personalize Your Plan


Originally published in the January/February 2012 issue of TENNIS.

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