Short answer – yes! Chocolate is good for you, which is great news as we prepare to indulge a little this weekend – woo hoo!
So, you see that little shred of guilt sneaking its way into your thoughts about that chocolate egg – get rid, because the ultimate comfort food has been proven – by science, really… - to boost overall health.
The problem with chocolate arises when you eat too much of it because of all the added sugar and fat to make it taste delicious. That’s why you’re best to stick with dark (70% +), as there hasn’t been the same quantity added.
Also, chocolate is quite caloric, so if you are going to have a square of three, just be mindful of this.
However, a little nibble of the milk kind is good too, so here are our top fave 8 reasons why chocolate is a good thing to gift and munch this Easter…
1. It’s A Health Food
Dark chocolate is loaded with essential healthy minerals like potassium, zinc and selenium.
Furthermore, just 100g of the dark kind can provide your body with 67% of the RDA of iron – an important component of haemoglobin.
This is essential for keeping your blood and bod healthy by helping your red blood cells transport oxygen. It also decreases fatigue.
2. Boosts Cognitive Function
Research has recently proven that eating dark chocolate on the regular can boost your overall cognitive function.
It’s particularly effective at improving brain activities that lead to gaining knowledge, memory, language, attention and reasoning.
The best part about this is that it happened regardless of what other dietary habits you follow. So it may not be that avocado after all…
3. Get Glowing
If you want glowing skin, you know water is the key. But chocolate is also rather good too.
You see, up until fairly recently chocolate was blamed for causing breakouts – but this myth has now been debunked and the true skin benefits of chocolate has been revealed.
It’s all to do with the flavonols found in dark chocolate. These plant metabolites are outstanding antioxidants that can fight against skin damage and free radicals, which can lead to dull skin.
Chocolate won’t protect you from sun damage though, so don’t stop wearing sunscreen!
4. Good For Your Ticker
It may seem a little counter intuitive but dark chocolate helps restore artery flexibility and prevents white blood cells sticking to the walls of blood vessels ensuring your heart can pump blood smoothly around your body.
According to a study published in Faseb Journal, scientists discovered that chocolate could even play a role in battling atherosclerosis. A disease linked to plaque build-ups in the arteries.
5. Stress Reliever
There’s no doubt eating a square of chocolate can instantly relax you and feel warm and fuzzy inside.
This is particularly true for expectant mothers with a Finnish study concluding that eating chocolate actively reduced the stresses of pregnancy!
They also discovered that babies of chocolate-munching mums smiled more than non-chocolate-munching mums… fascinating.
6. Reduces Chances Of Stroke
In a study published in the British Journal Of Nutrition, scientists discovered a direct link to the consumption of chocolate and a reduction in strokes.
Plus, although eating clean is a great way to ensure you avoid eating excess sugar, having just one square of chocolate a day has actually been shown to potentially prevent diabetes and insulin resistance.
7. Bad Cholesterol – BEGONE!
Eating cocoa has been shown to reduce levels of bad cholesterol and actively raise levels of good cholesterol in the body.
The study conducted at Tokyo’s Ochanomizu University looked into the lifestyles of 25 healthy men with normal to mildly high cholesterol. They were instructed to drink 1 cup of cocoa with sugar a day for 12 weeks.
At the end of the study, scientists found that the cholesterol levels of the mildly high group dropped to being normal.
The scientists did crack and grind their own cocoa beans though…
8. Makes You Feel Good
This is all down to the phenylethylamine found in chocolate, which is the chemical your brain creates when you fall in love – awww…
Munching just 1 square a day can also boost your endorphins making you feel on top of the world. Or just back to normal if you’ve been have a really crappy day!