10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Chocolate

Here are just 10 of our favourite excuses to tuck into a block – or two!

10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Chocolate

Chocolate is actually very nutritious

If you buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it is
actually quite nutritious – no, seriously! Chocolate contains a decent
amount of soluble fibre and is packed with minerals. To give you an
idea, a 100 gm bar of 70-85 per cent dark chocolate contains: 11 grams
of fibre, 67% of the recommended daily intake (RDA) for Iron, 58% of the
RDA for Magnesium, 89% of the RDA for Copper, 98% of the RDA for
Manganese. It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and
selenium. Also the higher per cent cocoa content – the lower the sugar.

Chocolate helps fight fatigue and anxiety and even PMS

A small study of 10 participants at Hull York Medical School found those
given 50g of 85 per cent dark chocolate reported less fatigue, anxiety
and depression than those given a placebo chocolate low in antioxidants.
As well as this chocolate could help to fight mood swings caused by
discomfort as a result of PMS. According to a clinical therapist from
sanitary company Kotex, Elizabeth Morray: “Chocolate contains magnesium,
which can help alleviate cramps and increase energy,” A tasty way to
fight the blues.

Chocolate improves blood flow

A 2008 study at Harvard University “forced” test subjects to undergo an
intense “two weeks of enhanced chocolate intake”. After a fortnight of
chocolate face-stuffing they found the sweet helped blood flow through
their subject’s middle cerebral arteries. To put it simply, more
chocolate means more blood to your brain and reduces the likelihood of
blood clots, which in turn reduces your risk of heart attacks.

Chocolate improves your mental math skills

According to a study by British psychologists, flavanols, a type of
flavonoids found in chocolate, helped people with their arithmetic.
Participants had an easier time counting backwards from a random number
between 800 and 999 after drinking a cup of hot chocolate than they did
without their cocoa hit. “The findings suggest students who binge on
chocolate when revising for exams may gain a real benefit from doing
so,” the British Telegraph reported. Is there anything chocolate can’t
do?

Chocolate may protect your skin against sun damage

Bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin.
The flavonols can protect against sun-induced damage, improve blood flow
to the skin and increase skin density and hydration. The minimal
erythemal dose (MED) is the minimum amount of UVB rays required to cause
redness in the skin, 24 hours after exposure to the sun. In one study
of 30 people, the MED more than doubled after consuming dark chocolate
high in flavanols for 12 weeks. So, if you’re planning a beach vacation,
perhaps consider loading up on dark chocolate in the prior weeks and
months.

Chocolate can help alleviate a cough

How had we never heard of this before. The most delicious way to kick a
cough is with, you guessed it, chocolate. This is because one of the
chemical components of the sweet is therbromine which helps to reduce
the activity of the vagus nerve – a part of the brain that triggers
coughing fits. Scientists are even working on a cough-quelling
medication that uses therbromine instead of the common cough medicine
drug, codeine.

Chocolate sharpens your thinking and mind

A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that
cocoa flavanols are linked to improved thinking skills. Similarly,
Italian researchers tested the effects of cocoa flavanols in 90 healthy
61- to 85-year-olds whose memories and thinking skills were in good
shape for their ages. Participants drank a special brew of cocoa
flavanols each day. One group’s brew contained a low amount (48
milligrams a day), another’s contained a medium amount (520 mg), and the
third’s contained a high amount (993 mg). After eight weeks, people who
consumed medium and high amounts of cocoa flavanols every day made
significant improvements on tests that measured attention, executive
function and memory.

Chocolate will boost your love life

Another italian study linked higher consumption of chocolate with more
action in the bedroom. This is because dark chocolate contains a
compound called phenylethylamine, which helps to release endorphins and
light up pleasure centres in the brain – like when you’re feeling all
warm and fuzzy inside or when falling in love. It seems sharing a few
squares of high-quality dark chocolate before bed, might spice up your
time in the bedroom or help with arousal.

Chocolate shields your brain

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that dark chocolate
shields cells in your brain and protects it from damaged caused by
stroke. Epicatechin, a compound found in chocolate, helped significantly
reduce brain damage and trauma in mice who suffered strokes, according
to the scientists, Similarly, another study by California’s Salk
Institute found that the same compound, epicatechin, improved mice’s
memories.

Chocolate adds years to you life expectancy

Harvard experts have actually found that eating chocolate adds two years
to your life expectancy. One of the oldest women that has ever lives,
Jeanne Louise Calment reached the ripe old age of 122 and ate more than a
kilo of dark chocolate every week!

But before you run out to the grocery store for an all-out chocolate
binge, remember most of the milk chocolate you find at the supermarket
is heavily processed which means it has lost many of it’s health
benefits and contains high levels of sugar. Aim for the darker variety
instead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *