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Benefits of Chocolate

Cydney Helsdown 10th October 2016

 

We’d like to celebrate #ChocolateWeek with an informative blog post on the not so known health benefits of chocolate. Now when you pick up your next bar you can feel a little less guilt about indulging!

Over the years, chocolate has received a lot of bad press because of its fat content; its consumption has been associated with acne, obesity, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. However, according to Rashed Latif, who published a review of chocolate’s health effects in the Netherlands Journal of Medicine, it’s not all bad news.

He says “the recent discovery of biologically active phenolic compounds in cocoa has changed this perception and stimulated research on its effects in aging, oxidative stress, blood pressure regulation, and atherosclerosis.”

Today, chocolate is lauded for its tremendous antioxidant potential. The higher the cocoa content, the more health benefits there are and the less sugar content, which is better for overall health.

The potential benefits of eating chocolate may include:

  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Preventing cognitive decline
  • Reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems

* Taken from Medical News Today

If you buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it is actually quite nutritious.

It contains a decent amount of soluble fibre and is loaded with minerals.

A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains (1):

  • 11 grams of fiber.
  • 67% of the 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.

Of course, 100 grams (3.5 ounces) is a fairly large amount and not something you should be consuming daily. All these nutrients also come with 600 calories and moderate amounts of sugar.

For this reason, dark chocolate is best consumed in moderation. The fatty acid profile of cocoa and dark chocolate is excellent. The fats are mostly saturated and monounsaturated, with small amounts of polyunsaturates. It also contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine, but is unlikely to keep you awake at night as the amount of caffeine is very small compared to coffee.

*Information taken from Authority Nutrition

As well as it’s health benefits, it’s also great for the skin as a natural alternative to harsh plastics and synthetic exfoliates. We’ve found a great recipe for a DIY body scrub:

Homemade Chocolate Coconut Sugar Scrub.

As if you needed any more excuses to pick up a few more bars of chocolate!

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