Anti-Inflammatory Cocoa Truffles
What are some of the biggest contributors to chronic low-grade inflammation?
- Obesity: Fat cells release inflammatory chemicals and hormones that stimulate the immune system and increase insulin resistance (1).
- Food Allergies or Intolerances: These food proteins cause irritation to the gut lining, further fueling inflammation while reducing absorption of vital nutrients.
- Bacterial Dysbiosis: Unfavorable ratio of good vs. bad bacteria and their toxic byproducts can cause inflammation in the gut.
- High Stress Lifestyle: Being “stressed” causes the body to go into “fight of fight mode” releasing stress hormones (cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine) and pro-inflammatory mediators. Both stress hormones and pro-inflammatory mediators can promote insulin resistance.
- Sleep deprivation: Aiming for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night can help quench inflammation.
- Toxin Overload: Daily exposure to toxins/chemicals/molds via your work or living environment can burden your innate detox capacity causing chronic inflammation.
- Aging: Studies have found increased levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals in healthy subjects aged 55-75 vs those between 26-54 years of age, which are associated with the development of age-related conditions such as cognitive decline (1).
- Excessive Exercising: Research has found that moderate exercise is very helpful in reducing inflammatory mediators and stress hormones (1). However excessive physical activity, without well-planned rest days and a good diet, can increase inflammation. Research studies have found that high intensity sessions longer than 20-30 minutes or low intensity sessions longer than 75 minutes can flood the body with increased stress hormones and pro-inflammatory mediators (2,3). Doing these inflammatory exercises a couple times a weeks is okay, but doing them constantly will become a source of chronic inflammation.
- Poor Dietary Choices: more information below...
- And more…
There are many foods that have been highlighted as anti-inflammatory superstars including flaxseeds, walnuts, and cocoa! (If you are coming to my class on October 27th you will learn all about these and many more!) Therefore, I have created a whole foods chocolate truffle treat that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and uses only whole grains, natural sweeteners, and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Each truffle contains 0.6g of plant based omega-3 fatty acids, meeting 38-55% of the Recommended Dietary Intakes of 1.1-1.6g of ALA (omega-3) per day!
P.S. If you want to get extra fancy melt your favorite dark chocolate in a double boiler, dunk each truffle into the chocolate, and then roll in your favorite topping! It adds one more step but an extra layer of chocolate increases the decadence factor by 10!
5. Azvolinsky A. Sugar Substitutes, Gut Bacteria, and Glucose Intolerance. http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/41033/title/Sugar-Substitutes--Gut-Bacteria--and-Glucose-Intolerance/. Accessed October 8, 2015.