Chocolate can be good for you…


With Easter fast approaching and having only just finished off the Christmas tin of chocolates, those of you trying to be good may well dread this time of year. However there is no need to feel guilty, as eating a small, yes a small, amount of chocolate can actually have some health benefits.

It’s great brain food
Chocolate contains flavinols, which are thought to reduce memory loss in the elderly, so there is hope for me yet! It also has anti-inflamatory qualities.

It’s a mood booster
I don’t now about you, but I certainly have a few moment of joy when I eat chocolate. It’s well known to lighten your mood. Just don’t eat too much or this will be followed by guilt.

It helps with a cough
There is an ingredient found in chocolate which seems to help with a cough by reducing the activity in the part of the brain that triggers a cough.

It’s good for heart health
One of the reasons dark chocolate is especially heart-healthy is its inflammation-fighting properties, which reduces cardiovascular risk.

Improves good blood flow
Chocolate or the cocoa in chocolate provides blood thinning properties. These work in a similar way to aspirin, which can improves blood flow and circulation.

Chocolate helps protect your skin!
Yes, eating too much will give you a spot breakout, but eaten sparingly, dark chocolate actually is actually good for your skin! Rich in flavonoids offer some protection from UV damage from the sun. However, don’t take that as meaning you don’t need to use sunscreen, continue to slap it on.

It may fight diabetes!
Recent studies have shown that eating a small amount of chocolate regularly increases insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes. I’m dubious about this one!

Happy mums and tots
A study found that as chocolate reduced stress levels in expectant mums, their babies smiled more.

Its filling!
No we don’t mean eat chocolate by the bucket load! But as dark chocolate is rich in fibre, this in turn helps keeps you fuller for longer. Just one small square of dark chocolate should satisfy your sweet tooth and prevent you from snacking on fatty foods. Great in theaoy but if like me you struggle to stop at just one square of chocolate, don’t open the packet at all!

It’s mineral rich
Dark chocolate is packed full of good mineral, potassium, zinc and selenium. A 100mg bar of dark chocolate provides 67% of the RDA of iron.

Improves vision
As stated earlier, it improves blood flow, particularly to the brain, thereby increasing the blood flow to the retina, improving vision.