Tis the season for cuddles, presents, and chocolate! Except this year, we aren’t sacrificing our hormones in the process. I first heard about the effects of sugary holiday drinks on your hormones from @keepupwithliv and decided to do some more research on it. Here’s what I found out- refined and artificial sweeteners and additive laden drinks negatively affect our gut health and blood sugar levels. Our hormones get out of whack. Energy levels spike then drop. Our moods can be up and down.
This doesn’t mean we need to skip these traditions, instead, stick to raw, unprocessed cacao or dark chocolate (70%+) and eat/drink in moderation. Look for plant-based milks free of gums (thickening agents) and added sweeteners/flavours, and brands that are certified non-GMO. Sweeten with raw honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar.
Proven Health Benefits of Chocolate (source: hormone.org)
Limit Stress — Cocoa contains compounds that react with the body to limit the excretion of stress hormones.
Feel Full Faster — Cocoa contains stearic acid, which slows digestion and controls the appetite.
Heart Health Benefits — Dark chocolate has flavanols, which are antioxidants that can improve blood flow and lessen buildup of bad cholesterol.
Lower A1C Levels — Dark chocolate can have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar levels because it is low on the glycemic index.
Mood Boost — Anandamide, a neurotransmitter in chocolate, can help people feel happier.
RECIPE: Hormone Happy Hot Chocolate
Warm & happy goodness in a mug! Raw, unprocessed cacao is rich in healthy benefits for your mind and body.
Start with the base recipe below and add in any of the listed items for extra spice and benefits.
Unsweetened Plant-based Milk (oat, almond, coconut)
Raw Cacao -high source of polyphenols and flavanols = antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
-high in iron, magnesium and calcium
-great source of serotonin, tryptophan and phenylethylamine = happy mood booster
Natural Sweetener – Maple Syrup, Honey, Dates, Coconut Sugar
Coconut Oil, Almond Butter – healthy fat
Peppermint Extract – calming & relaxing
Cinnamon – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, heart and blood sugar benefits
Cayenne – manganese, potassium, Vitamins B6, E, C, K, A
Collagen – skin and joint health
1 cup plant-based milk
1 tbsp. raw cocao
- tsp. natural sweetener of choice (honey, maple syrup or 1-2 soaked medjool dates)
- On stove top, gently heat plant-based milk (don’t boil).
- Add milk to blender with all other ingredients.
- Blend 30-60 seconds until frothy.