Dipping into Dark Chocolate this Valentine’s Day
A heartfelt Happy Valentine’s Day to you!
How many of you are giving the gift of chocolate to your sweetie (or your kiddos, your colleagues, or let’s be real, to yourself) this week? Valentine’s Day and dark chocolate go hand-in-hand and we want to share more with you about the health benefits of this decadent treat. The health of our planet and the communities that produce our chocolate is also very important to us – therefore, we’d like to share more information about our commitment to sustainability as well.
Health Benefits: Dark Chocolate
You’ve likely seen the headlines cheering how dark chocolate is amaZing for our health! Chocolate provides us with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The specific types of antioxidant in chocolate are known as flavanols, which research shows, “…have other potential influences on vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot.” This is important – we want to make sure oxygen and nutrients are shuttled to our vital organs – the brain and heart – so that they have a steady energy source to keep us alive and firing on all cylinders. You may recall that the brain uses more energy than any of our other organs!
Three other reasons for channeling your inner chocoholic this month include:
- Help curb cravings. Compared to people who eat milk chocolate, those who opt for dark chocolate ate 15% fewer calories in one study from the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Copenhagen and reported fewer cravings for sweet, higher-fat foods and snacks.
- Improve cognitive function. Flavanols have demonstrated the ability to boost our critical thinking skills by enabling brain cell connectivity and by protecting brain cells from free radicals that may cause harm. In one such study, participants who consumed cocoa flavanols daily improved test results measuring attention and memory.
- Improve our moods. Lastly, nutrients in dark chocolate can create a pleasurable “high,” like the feeling you get when you’re in love! How does this magic happen? There’s a connection between the L-tryptophan (a building block of protein) found in chocolate and increased serotonin levels in the body. Serotonin is the wonderful chemical transmitter that plays a role in our moods and overall happiness!
Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT of Shaw's Simple Swaps, says, “I am a big fan of dark chocolate not only because of the flavonoid content, but because just a tiny bit satisfies your sweet tooth in an instant! Flavonoids are a type of nutrient that have antioxidant capabilities, and although I'm not saying trade in your veggies for chocolate, I am saying you can have a piece and rest easy, savoring every bite.”
Getting to Know You: Our Dark Chocolate-Covered Zing Bars
Dripping in Peruvian dark chocolate, our dark chocolate-covered Zing Bars are antioxidant-rich and satisfy your inner chocoholic. We offer five distinctively different flavors, each good enough to replace your favorite candy bar. Get to know our dark chocolate-covered bars:
- Dark Chocolate Coconut: Our most popular bar! Some say it tastes like a Mounds® Bar, just more substantial and not quite so sweet.
- Dark Chocolate Hazelnut: With a blend of hazelnuts, almonds, a hint of coconut and dark chocolate, this bar has a distinctive flavor reminiscent of popular hazelnut spreads, but with half the sugar.
- Dark Chocolate Mint: Our peppermint patty knock-off! For muscle tone, our Dark Chocolate Mint Bar packs 11 grams of high-quality protein that provides you with 12% of the recommended daily value.
- Dark Chocolate Mocha: Containing dark chocolate and a bold coffee extract, Dark Chocolate Mocha has a satisfying flavor for even the most demanding mocha aficionado.
- Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter: Step aside, peanut butter cups! This is the real deal – containing 13 grams of high-quality whey protein, 5 grams of dietary fiber and 4 grams of healthy fats for brain and heart health.
Wearing our Heart on our Sleeve: Why We Selected Sustainably-Sourced Chocolate
We pride ourselves on the chocolate we use for Zing Bars because, in addition to being dairy-free, soy-free and delicious, it’s also sustainably-sourced. Sustainability has become a driving force in the industry over the years, and the company from whom we purchase our chocolate is committed to fair wages and ethical procurement of their chocolate beans. They partner directly with cocoa farmer cooperatives; this partnership enables them to introduce good agricultural practices, work together on crop quality, and purchase cocoa beans directly from cooperatives, thereby supporting farmers to make a better income from cocoa.
As a result, they have made a commitment to sustainability that has improved the lives of more than 30,000 cocoa farmers. We’re proud to play a small role in this monumental shift taking place in the chocolate industry and we thank you, our customers, who believe in sustainably-sourced products, fair wages and ethical production.
We’re proud to continue to treat you to sustainably-sourced dark chocolate in our bars. Because we love you, that’s why!
This Valentine’s Day, we want to know: Which Zing Bar flavor has replaced your favorite candy bar at snack time?