Currently, there are countless sports drinks and protein-packed power bars that claim to help consumers up their athleticism. You can eat an electrolyte-filled gel; mix a scoop of protein powder into your smoothie; down a shot of a fizzy energy drink to get you moving.
But did you ever think that there would be a gelato to help you work out better?
Apparently, an Italian cardiologist and researcher named Valerio Sanguigni has patented a remarkable new ice cream recipe that he claims has proven health benefits, and also could help improve sports performance in young people.
Per The Local, Sanguigni told Repubblica that he was hoping to "shed some light on the jungle of substances which contain antioxidants."
Sanguigni's ice cream is chock full of antioxidant properties, which have indeed been shown to improve heart health and help counteract certain diseases. Sanguigni, who is a professor at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, believes that unfortunately, certain superfoods actually lose their antioxidant properties by the time consumers pick them up from the grocery store and get around to eating them.
Low temperature foods, however, conserve the properties well; so do cocoa beans, green tea, and dried fruits.
Therefore, Sanguigni combined his knowledge of antioxidants with his lifelong love of ice cream, and created three different gelato flavors: chocolate, hazelnut, and green tea. Then, The Local reports that he hopped on his moped and zoomed off to the university with his ice cream in tow, ready to share his secret recipe with the world.
His taste-testers had their blood tested first, and then sampled the gelato. Some ate Sanguigni's gelato; others ate a standard chocolate ice cream. Then, they pedaled as fast as they could on exercise bikes to determine whether the gelato actually improved vascular function and physical performance.
The answer? A resounding yes for Sanguigni's gelato; not for the standard chocolate ice cream.
"Who says that health foods have to taste bad?"
Hear, hear, professor Sanguigni!