Chocolate is the ultimate comfort food, stress-reliever and aphrodisiac – here are 10 fabulous reasons why tucking into your favourite treat this Easter could be good for you after all.
It’s rich in minerals
Dark chocolate is high in beneficial minerals like potassium, zinc and selenium, and a 100g bar of dark chocolate (70 per cent or more) provides 67 per cent of an adult’s recommended daily intake of iron.
One study showed that chocolate helped to relieve coughs almost as well as codeine – and with none of the side effects.
It boosts “good cholesterol”
Cocoa has been shown to reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol and increase levels of “good” cholesterol, potentially lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
It reduces the risk of stroke
Researchers in Finland have found that eating chocolate lowers the risk of stroke - by a whopping 17 per cent average in the group of men they tested.
It makes you feel good…
Chocolate contains the same chemical that your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. It’s also what makes your brain release feel-good endorphins.
It boosts brain power
Flavanols (found in dark chocolate) are thought to reduce memory loss in older people, and the anti-inflammatory properties of dark chocolate have also been found to be beneficial in treating brain injuries such as concussion.
It keeps you slim
Chocolate really can help you lose weight - by preventing overeating. A small square of quality chocolate melted on the tongue 20 minutes before a meal triggers the “I’m full” message in the brain, reducing the amount you eat. Finishing a meal with another square could also limit snacking afterwards.
It could prevent diabetes
It sounds unlikely, but cocoa has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which means that dark chocolate - in moderation - might help to delay or prevent the onset of diabetes.
It protects your skin
Researchers in Germany found that the flavonoids in dark chocolate absorb UV light and can therefore help to protect the skin against sun damage.
It’s good for the heart and circulation
A recent study found that dark chocolate helps restore flexibility to arteries whilst preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels - both common causes of artery clogging.
Of course, all these health benefits depend on the quality of the chocolate but eaten in moderation a good, dark chocolate can certainly be good for you. If you fancy a treat why not try our Tarte au Chocolat, made with delicious dark chocolate ganache and all butter pastry?