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It’s December, a month that for many is synonymous with parties, entertainment, meals and celebrations.
It is a period in which the intensity of the battle between will and duty increases over what is beneficial or not for our body, particularly in regard to diet and exercise.
It is common to hear that to carry a balanced healthy diet, as recommended by nutritionists, it is preferable to avoid certain types of foods.
Among the most mentioned are chocolate and beer.
The surprise is that falling into temptation is not in itself bad for the body and can even be beneficial if we want to exercise.
At BBC Mundo we explain why.
The problem of chocolate is the way in which they produce most of their variants, in which all the cocoa fat is combined and a lot of sugar is added.
“But if we are talking about a cocoa that is defatted and sugar-free is great,” he told BBC World Juan Francisco Marco, a professor at the center of sports science, training and fitness High Performance, in Spain.
“The positive is that it has a relaxing and anxiolytic effect given its nutritional composition, which is why in physical exercises or in sports that require a lot of concentration it is ideal, it is highly recommended”.
Chocolates that have more than 70% cocoa are rich in flavonoids, which have large amounts of antioxidants.
This favors the flexibility in the arteries.
To this it is added that it is also rich in fiber and minerals such as iron, potassium, zinc and selenium.
That does not mean that you can abuse chocolate and eat half a tablet at a time. 10 to 30 grams per day are enough to enjoy its benefits without facing its negative effects.
“It is advisable to consume it before exercise, but later it can also help because once you finish physical activity, your body remains activated and chocolate contributes to restoring it as a relaxant,” Marco added.
“Watermelon is good because basically it is 90% water and the rest is sugar, and it has little caloric content, about 100 grams give you about 28 kilocalories”.
This is translated in terms of the exercise that the body receives an injection of important energy.
“The fructose is absorbed very quickly, then it provides you with energy very quickly,” explained the High Performance Professor.
“The problem is that an excess of fructose, if you’re not going to burn it right away, turns into fat.”
Watermelon also has a lot of vitamin C and B vitamins, especially B9, which are essential for muscle recovery.
3. Virgin coconut oil
It is a product that is fashionable because it is very rich in medium chain fatty acids, which is scientifically proven to provide a lot of energy, according to Marco.
“A recent study was done in Japan in which two groups were divided, one with medium-chain fatty acids and the other with long-chain fatty acids, which are the most common.”
“It was shown that the first group contributed more energy and maintained it for a longer time, and it was discovered that it has a thermogenic effect, which helps to reduce fat levels in the body and also cholesterol,” he added.
“And something that is very important for the sport is that it delays the production of lactic acid, which is why muscle fatigue takes longer to arrive.”
Coconut oil can be used for cooking or accompanying in a salad, although there are also variants on the market as a drink.
“The three nuts that are essential for the sport are: almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts,” Marco explains.
“They give you a specific amount of minerals for muscle contractions such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.”
They also provide vitamins B and C, protein, carbohydrates and fatty acids
“We are talking about that with 15 or 20 grams you may be contributing 10 or 11 grams of protein, which would be half of a good dose.”