For the love of chocolate!
It was while I sat in my dining room with a cup of tea that the inspiration for this blog hit me. I REALLY wanted some chocolate to go with my cuppa. I have a huge sweet tooth and love nothing more than a bar of chocolate, cake……………. Anyway, it got me thinking, are there health benefits to eating chocolate or is it as bad for us as we all believe it to be?
Woohoo! We’ve got the green light!
No need to stop eating it! Now this is the kind of statement I can get on board with. Chocolate is often the first to get the chop when we are trying to loose a few pounds but it turns out you don’t need to (obviously this where I’ve been going wrong!) It turns out dark chocolate, with over 70% cocoa solids, is actually good for you! Who knew!!!?? It is high in antioxidants and minerals such as magnesium, copper, iron and potassium, all minerals that are vital for a heathy body and mind.
Totally scientifically proven, who are we to argue?!
There has been tonnes of research done on the benefits of chocolate and it is still ongoing with new discoveries all the time. Boffins have already discovered that it has benefits for the heart, circulation and the brain.
Be still my beating heart…..
So, as I mentioned above, chocolate is good for your heart and circulation. Dark chocolate can help stop white blood cells sticking to the inside of your blood vessels and helps to make your arteries more flexible. In addition to these already amazing benefits, good quality dark chocolate may reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Step away from the all you can eat buffet!
Mmmmm I’m not too sure about this one but research has shown that dark chocolate can help reduce your appetite for unhealthier foods. It is suggested that cravings for salty, sugary or fatty items is reduced helping to keep “hunger locked up ’til lunch” (thanks knitting Nannas!). Now this seems too good to be true but neuroscientist, Will Clower, believes that EATING CHOCOLATE CAN HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT! What?!?! Sign me up! He has said that letting a small square of quality dark chocolate melt on your tongue 20 minutes before a meal triggers the hormones in the brain that tell you that you are full and doing the same after a meal can help to reduce snacking. Pass me the Green & Blacks!
The memory game
I don’t know about you guys but I for one could do with some help with the grey matter. I am forever walking upstairs and standing at the top, blankly wondering why I went up there in the first place! Well apparently there are these things called flavanols found in chocolate that are linked to a reduction in memory loss and the anti-inflammatory properties can help to treat brain injuries like concussion.
Feeling the love
I LOVE chocolate! I don’t need any reason to eat it, other than I really enjoy it. In turn this makes me happy. However, my happiness isn’t all because I got to indulge in my favourite bar, it is also because chocolate contains chemicals that make you happy which improves mental wellbeing. It contains the very same chemical that is released when you fall head-over-heels in love, making it the perfect date for your Friday night.
So this Easter holiday, don’t beat yourself up about eating a bit of the good stuff, remember the 70% + chocolate, unless you’ve scoffed half of the kids Easter eggs! Chocolate REALLY is good for you in moderation and ultimately will lift your mood and make you feel happy!
With Chocolatey Love