Did you know that it’s World Chocolate Day on July 7th? And to celebrate, we’ve teamed up with Ombar to offer three Bristol Bites readers the chance to win an Ombar gift box each, worth £8.99.
Ombar is a range of delicious chocolate made from raw Ecuadorian cacao that’s also dairy free, gluten free and free from refined sugar. It’s available in both bars and buttons, and is packed full of flavanols and antioxidants, so it’s chocolate that you can feel good about!
Sounds like a pretty good excuse to eat more chocolate, if you ask me. And there are plenty more reasons to indulge on World Chocolate Day – here are five from leading nutritionist Cassandra Barns:
It’s a mineral-rich superfood
One of the features that makes cacao so special is its amazing mineral content. But why is this so important?
Cassandra comments: “Despite our best efforts, it can be difficult for many of us to make sure we’re getting enough of the minerals we need from our normal daily diet. Even if we focus on eating whole foods and plenty of veggies, depletion of minerals from our soils can lead to deficiencies, especially in magnesium. Cacao is rich in magnesium, which supports energy, muscle relaxation and bone strength. It’s also a good source of other minerals such as iron and potassium.”
It’s a natural energy booster
“Cacao contains a small amount of caffeine, as well as a compound called theobromine, which has a mild stimulating and energising effect. So having a few pieces of raw chocolate can be a great afternoon pick-me-up without the over-stimulation and jittery feeling you can get from coffee. But what makes cacao the real energy superstar is its high magnesium content: magnesium is essential for your body to make energy, and many of us don’t get enough of it in our daily diet.”
It’s a mood enhancer
“Chocolate stimulates endorphin production within the body as well as containing the natural anti-depressant serotonin and phenylethylamine – the same chemical your brain produces when falling in love!”
It lowers blood pressure
According to the Journal of Nutrition, studies found that chocolate containing high levels of antioxidant-rich flavanols were effective in reducing insulin levels and improving blood pressure. Cassandra says: “Cacao is high in magnesium, which helps to calm the nervous system, and contains a natural chemical called phenylethlamine (PEA) that’s associated with good mood. So, for the best stress-busting effects, go for a high-cacao, lower-sugar dark chocolate.”
It protects against sun damage:
“Eating flavanol-rich chocolate has been found to help protect our skin against sun damage, as well as improve circulation to the skin, increase skin hydration and reduce roughness and scaling.” So load up on any of Ombar’s vegan chocolates before you head out into the summer sun!
Win an Ombar chocolate gift box!
Want the chance to test these theories for yourself? We have three Ombar chocolate gift boxes to give away, each worth £8.99. For the chance to win, simply leave a comment below to let me know which product on the Ombar website (you can see the full range here) appeals to you the most!
The competition will close at midday on Friday, June 14th. Three entrants will be picked at random and contacted for their addresses, so Ombar’s PR company can send out the gift boxes directly. UK entrants only, please! Good luck!