Chocolate Can Improve Your Health: True or False?
As you contend with the guilt of having gorged on (far?) too many chocolate Easter eggs, take refuge in the below list of 5 reasons why –in fact –chocolate eaten in moderation can greatly improve your health…
1. Chocolate makes you happy
Whilst this seems like an obvious one – who isn’t in thrall to silky, smooth chocolate melting in your mouth? – there are actually scientific undertones to this otherwise emotional connection: that eating shown thateating chocolate containing a high percentage of cocoa solids lights up the brain’s pleasure centres, inducing a natural high.
2. Chocolate’s good for your heart:
Contrary to popular belief, dark chocolate can help protect your cardiovascular system, reducing the risk of heart disease, thanks to it being rich in anti-oxidants called flavonoids, which have been shown to lower ‘bad’, LDL cholesterol.
3. Chocolate’s great for post-workout recovery:
As counter-intuitive as this may seem, consuming chocolate after having exercised has been shown to help replenish depleted stores of the carbohydrate glycogen, due to it containing a three-to-one ratio of carbohydrate grams to those of protein. Indeed, Olympic athletes drink chocolate milk after exercising for this very reason!
4. Chocolate 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 bychoosing sugar-laden brands.
5. Chocolate may protect your skin against the sun:
This benefit is specific to dark chocolate, whose flavonols may protect against sun-induced damage, improve blood flow to the skin, and increase skin density and hydration.Indeed, one study of 30 people found that the minimal erythemal dose (MED) –which is the minimum amount of UVB rays required to cause redness in the skin 24 hours after exposure –more than doubled after consuming dark chocolate high in flavanols for 12 weeks.
Need there be more of a reason to follow your weekly workout withlow-fat
yoghurt with dark chocolate and orange mousse, as recommended by our Executive Chef, Ioannis Giakoumidis?