A warm cup of hot chocolate near the fireplace: in the collective imagination, hot chocolate recalls a winter atmosphere, and during winter we feel “authorized” to drink what many believe to be a sin of gluttony. However, the chocolate season doesn’t end with Easter, and now that summer’s here again we are here in Cervinia…surrounded by these peaks which call us, almost challenging us to reach them, and where we can easily take this FOOD OF THE GODS without compromising our health.
In fact, walking up the mountain is a sport that asks for a high level of energy, both physically and mentally, and to enjoy your walk better, however difficult it may be, it’s fundamental to choose the right food to put in your backpack. You must choose taking in consideration how much effort you’ll put into your activity, without exaggerating and thinking “if I walk a lot, I eat a lot”.
It’s important to have at your disposal nutritional snacks easily digestible, energetic, and rich of antioxidants,and the indispensable load of liquids, to avoid dehydration. We advise you to bring dry and fresh fruit, biscuits and chocolate – especially dark chocolate, rich of mineral nutrients and antioxidants – this increases physical and mental resistance and, due to its high fibral content, reduces that sense of hunger.
Even during rainy or relaxing days, we can still enjoy some chocolate without feeling guilty, and consider that chocolate, in limited quantities, can have almost a therapeutic effect. This has been proven in numerous studies that were made on possible positive health effects caused by the consumption of cocoa or chocolate with a high cocoa component.
In fact, chocolate is considered food medicine by nutritionists because it causes positive benefits at a metabolic, physical and cardiovascular level. It helps maintain a good level of internal artery walls, it regulates pressure, it fights physical tiredness, it helps memory, and even protects the skin from UV rays.
In only one small square, there are multiple nutritional substances: besides fats, carbohydrates and proteins, there are magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, calcium and sodium minerals. Furthermore, dark chocolate represents a good resource for antioxidant substances, and flavonoids – these are more present depending on percentage of cocoa. Moreover, the positive effects aren’t limited to the physical sphere: amino acids favor the synthesis of serotonin, which relaxes, and stimulate the production of endorphins which helps relief depression and stress.
Obviously, we mustn’t forget chocolate is rich in calories: 500 kcal for 100g of dark chocolate, almost 600 kcal for 100g of milk chocolate. However, consuming this “responsibly” will help you enjoy each little piece of chocolate, even if consumed each day. Worst case scenario, we fall into temptation and then do a double round around Lake Blue, all because we didn’t want to deny ourselves that unique and persistent pleasure from that mouthwatering dark chocolate.