6 Delicious Benefits of Chocolate!
6 Delicious Benefits of Chocolate!
Ahhh chocolate. There aren’t many of us who don’t love the feeling we get when we pop a deliciously creamy chocolate into our mouths. And with Easter upon us, now is the time to really indulge! But did you know, eating chocolate isn’t all about indulgence, there are actually some health benefits to our favourite treat, too.
It does though, depend on the type of chocolate we’re eating – the darker the chocolate, the higher the benefits. Milk chocolate, in the bars that we tend to find in supermarkets and sweet shops, has had a lot of sugar and fat (from the milk) added, which does negate some of the benefits. But, as is always the case, everything in moderation.
If you’re going all out this Easter, try to stick to dark chocolate that contains less fat and sugar (and is also usually suitable for vegans). But if you’re enjoying a chocolate-y treat or an Easter egg hunt, make sure you jolly well enjoy it – we will be!
Here’s six super benefits from eating chocolate…
- Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that help to protect the body from free radical damage which in turn helps to protect the immune system. A strong immune system means that we’re better able to fight infections and diseases, leaving us fit and healthy and more inclined to make healthy lifestyle decisions.
- The antioxidants in dark chocolate also help to protect the heart by helping to lower bad cholesterol called LDL cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol can block the major arteries of the heart, which can lead to heart disease. Eating plenty of antioxidant rich foods will help to prevent blocked arteries.
- Dark chocolate also contains theobromine, a stimulant compound that increases blood flow to the brain. This means that dark chocolate can improve our brain function, causing us to feel more productive and mentally energised.
- Dark chocolate is a nutritional powerhouse, too. It contains fibre, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc and selenium. It might as well be a multivitamin!
- Eating chocolate simply makes us feel good, and there’s no denying that – or scientific studies needed. But there have actually been some studies carried out into the effects of eating chocolate and they confirm what we already know – we feel positive and happy! This is because chocolate releases feel good chemicals called endorphins that make us feel, well, good. The same endorphins are released when we exercise too, that’s why we experience that post exercise high that’s so addictive.
- How about this for a bonus – studies have shown that nibbling on dark chocolate can actually increase our athletic performance… This is down to the antioxidants called flavanols that release nitric oxide. This relaxes the blood vessels, allowing more oxygen and blood to pump around the body, useful when we’re exercising. So when you’re about to do your next OYG workout, try some dark chocolate first!
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