Forget feeling guilty. Here’s 5 ways that chocolate will improve your health…
1. It makes you happy... And not merely because it melts in the mouth and tastes utterly delicious. Studies show that eating chocolate that contains a high percentage of cocoa solids lights up the brain’s pleasure centres, inducing a natural high.
2. It’s good for your heart... Dark chocolate is high in anti-oxidants called flavonoids that can help lower ‘bad’, LDL cholesterol. So, strange but true, chocolate can help protect the cardiovascular system, reducing the risk of heart disease.
3. It’s great for post-workout recovery... There’s a reason why Olympic athletes drink chocolate milk after exercising. Research shows that it contains a three-to-one ratio of carbohydrate grams to those of protein, which enhances glycogen (a form of carbohydrate that gets depleted when we exercise) replenishment faster than many sports drinks.
4. It can actually prevent tooth decay... Extraordinary as it sounds, Japanese researchers discovered a compound in cocoa beans that has anti-bacterial properties to prevent tooth decay. Just be sure not to counteract the effect by choosing sugar-laden brands.
5. It now comes in blonde as well as brunette versions... Added to milk and dark chocolate, blonde is the latest incarnation to be titillating chocoholics’ taste buds. Made by caramelising the butter during the chocolate-making process, blonde bars come with an added, moreish creaminess. Okay, this won’t necessarily improve your health but we guarantee that you’ll like it.
No wonder the tree from which cocoa beans are harvested - Theobroma Cacao – means ‘food of the gods’.