Nutrition | 10 reasons to eat chocolate

04/04/2015

Nutrition | Reasons to eat chocolate | Why chocolate is good for you | Health benefits of chocolate | Healthy chocolate recipes | Via fashioned by love British fashion blog
I once called it "the curse of a chocolate bunny" referring to the amount of chocolate consumed at Easter and the coma-like state that often followed. Having just moved from a country where the holiday was celebrated by eating a lot of savoury dishes and two or three very specific practically sugar-free puddings, the idea of replacing breakfast, lunch and dinner with chocolate eggs, bunnies, bars and cakes was a real novelty - exciting, of course, but still very much over-the-top...

And so for the first couple of Easters we smashed those gigantic eggs, demolished a few Lindt bunnies and picked on numerous confectionary wanders gifted to us. It was very Willy Wonka style. Rather fabulous. Fun. Totally crazy.

What I didn't enjoy was the after-math, the chocolate hangover et al. It wasn't pleasant and made me learn to balance between the "wants" and the "needs", quantity and quality, feeling like a kid but acting like an adult. The lesson paid off big time because it allowed me to enjoy chocolate every day without feeling guilty, deprived and, best of all, knowing that I actually do something good for my body and health.

And here are the scientifically proven reasons why...

Nutrition | Reasons to eat chocolate | Why chocolate is good for you | Health benefits of chocolate | Healthy chocolate recipes | Via fashioned by love British fashion blog
* Chocolate makes you happy. A clinical trial found that eating about 30 grams of chocolate daily can reduce the levels of stress hormones and block the feeling of depression thanks to anandamide, a compound found in chocolate (and a type of neurotransmitter produced in the brain).

* Chocolate can help you lose weight, maintain healthy blood sugar and reduce risk of type-2 diabetes due to the high quantities of antioxidant flavanols, according to the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry.

* Chocolate can support your body during stress by providing epicatechin that protects the nervous cells from damage.

* Chocolate is also a source of magnesium, the "relaxation mineral" essential for supporting the heart, reducing blood pressure and anxiety, and improving sleep. Just 30g of chocolate provides 95mg of magnesium or about a quarter of your recommended daily amount.

* Chocolate is a natural anti-aging aid. Adding flavanol-rich chocolate to your daily diet may also improve structure and function of the skin, reduce redness and provide natural form of SPF, says the Journal of Nutrition.

* Chocolate is good for the mind. A study published in Nature Neuroscience confirm that cocoa flavanols reverse age-related memory decline by protecting a specific region of the brain.

* Chocolate is a natural PMS aid. While small quantities of sugar will curb the craving caused by the natural changes in oestrogen/progesterone levels and trigger production of "happy hormone" serotonin, the magnesium will work as a relaxant to reduce those horrible cramps, and the caffeine will help to deal with fatigue. 

Nutrition | Reasons to eat chocolate | Why chocolate is good for you | Health benefits of chocolate | Healthy chocolate recipes | Via fashioned by love British fashion blog
* Chocolate improves digestion by selectively feeding the good bacteria whilst ignoring the bad guys.  In addition it also enhances positive effects of other prebiotics and supplies some fibre, so while you are having a blast eating chocolate, that gut of yours is feeling pretty happy, too.

* Chocolate protects your immune system, reduces risk of colds and flu, supports production of sex hormones in both men and women, maintains skin health and even reduces risk of cancer and Alzheimer's by proving you with zinc. 100g of chocolate contain almost 10g of this important mineral or practically a daily recommended dose. 

* Chocolate is delicious. Denial of delicious treats is unnecessary and depressing. Besides, "chocolate is made from beans, beans are vegetables, so chocolate is a vegetable" - can you find a better excuse for making it a part of your 5-a-day?

A quick tip to bear in mind - cross over to the dark side... Higher cocoa content means more benefits and less sugar. Even better, go raw - I cannot express in words how wonderful it tastes!

Also try...

Raw chocolate eco block
Flourless chocolate cake
Happy little chocolates

    7 comments:

    1. Меня в последнее время отвратило от шоколада, вообще не воспринимаю эту сладость. Даже горький и белый перестал нравиться, интересно, с чем бы это могло быть связано) Недавно читала, что шоколад можно заменить свежей зеленью и бананами, в них тоже очень много серотонина.
      Отличная статья, Наташ! Хороших тебе выходных!

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    2. Wonderful post. ^^
      Have a nice Easter weekend. New outfit is online...

      ReplyDelete
    3. With all those benefits I will never need another excuse to eat chocolate again :)

      Bella Pummarola

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    4. Love these reasons to eat chocolate! Life would be miserable without chocolate :)

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    5. Chocolate does make me happy! I loooove it. :D Happy Easter!

      Tara x

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    6. Most of the time I eat chocolate for no reason but since these are good ones, I'll keep happily eating it :)

      www.LUXESSED.com

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    7. Well these are great to know,
      and I will let these reinforced my love of chocolate.
      I eat chocolate often, and I agree,
      lets add pleasure back!
      xx, Elle
      http://mydailycostume.com

      ReplyDelete