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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

iQ Chocolate Review

   If you're on a little bit of a health and fitness kick like me, you should know that chocolate is not off the menu. I know, best news ever, right? And when it comes to chocolate, the darker the better, as the high cocoa content (70%+) is amazingly good for you - but then there's raw chocolate, which is in a league of its own. It's a popular belief that chocolate releases endorphins and makes you happy. Well, that's not strictly true. Cocoa does do this, but the lower the percentage of cocoa and the more it's cooked and tempered, the less happy-making they are. Dark chocolate has a high cocoa content even with all the tempering, which means it retains a lot of good stuff - dark isn't the popular favourite, no, but the reason it's so bitter is because of all the goodness. Who looks forward to eat vegetables? It's a similar sort of thing.
   But raw chocolate goes through very little tempering, very little cooking and tempering, and as it maintains so much of its natural goodness, it also includes less additives, including added sugars. It is, believe it or not, one of the fabled 'superfoods'.

   iQ Chocolate, a chocolate company based in Scotland, have some of the best raw chocolate I've had, and I've tried a few. It's not as rough-textured as most of them are, and has a nice, shiny, smooth finish to the bar itself. They're made from Peruvian cocoa, some of the best cocoa around, and sweetened with coconut blossom nectar, meaning no refined sugars or artificial sweeteners. It's au naturel, and has been stoneground at low temperatures to keep it raw, preserving all of the goodness, which means high levels of nutrients, minerals and antioxidants, which is something iQ are proud to point out all over their adorable packaging. What's more, all iQ bars are free from gluten, soya, dairy, lecithin and nuts, so it's safe for most allergies, too. No one has to miss out.



   YogiQ and BeautiQ are the two newest bars from iQ - guess who they're aimed at? Beauty buffs and fitness fanatics.
   BeautiQ has a delicious addition of wild, organic seabuckthorn which adds a lovely little crunch to each bite, something I really quite liked. Seabuckthorn is a brilliant antioxidant and immunity booster on top of the benefits of raw chocolate itself, and the combination of all ingredients helps to promote anti-aging, cellular repair and hormonal function.
   YogiQ contains ginseng and ginger, giving it another little something to set it apart from the rest, and supports muscle function and energy release - and I tell you, I felt it. Perhaps I imagined it, I don't know, but sometimes even if it is a placebo effect, it's valuable. Both ginseng and ginger are wonderful immunity boosters, too, and ginger can also increase metabolic rate while ginseng can improve stamina and endurance, too.
   Both 35g bars contain only 197 calories, which is quite an achievement - but you have to remember, of course, that calories are important for active individuals such as myself, which is also why putting together a calorie-controlled diet by yourself rarely works out unless you're a dietician. I also felt more positive after each bar, too. I used to eat ordinary chocolate when I felt down - I've since learned not to drown my sorrows in food because it doesn't help any, only making me feel sick and guilty - but I admit to giving in when it comes to raw chocolate, and since raw chocolate packs a big punch in such a tiny bar, I don't feel the guilt, I don't feel sick, and I actually feel better than normal chocolate makes me feel.


   I know what you might be thinking, because I used to be the same way: it's chocolate, stop gussying it up, it can't do all of that, for goodness' sake.
   But why not? Cocoa beans are seeds from a fruit, it's a naturally occurring thing, just like milk. Cocoa goes through a process to become what we know as chocolate, just as milk goes through a process to become safe to drink, or to become cheese or yoghurt. What's the difference? There isn't one, and dairy is rich in calcium which does a number of wonders itself. And raw chocolate isn't typical chocolate, afterall; it's not been treated the same way as standard store-bought chocolate, and as a result it's healthier, with less calories, bad fat and sugars. So believe it. I'm not talking out of my bum, and you all know I wouldn't push a product if I didn't see any value. Remember my trial with raspberry ketone? Remember how I said it didn't work for me? Well, I love raw chocolate, and I love iQ the most. I'll be back and buying more in no time. And just as well, because I fancy trying their orange with wild raspberry bar!





Disclaimer: I was sent this product to review by the brand itself. The quantity and precise products sent were their choice, not my own. All opinions and images are my own, and all appropriate research has been done by myself from a range of sources rather than relying entirely on the product's website, especially where health products are concerned. I do not accept a product to review if I do not believe it is safe or worth my own time, regardless of any kind of reimbursement. I trial the products for an appropriate amount of time before writing reviews to check for wear-and-tear on physical items and side effects from edible (be it supplements or food). If I have negative points to voice, I will voice them, and I never, ever accept product reviews or reimbursement on the promise of a positive review. My reviews are and will only ever be honest.



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