We all love eating chocolate and now there’s even more reason for it to put a smile on our face.
Increasing evidence suggests that our once guilty pleasure can actually have health benefits, which is amazing news for all of us!
Eat it in moderation but enjoy your chocolate
It can help with lowering the risk of heart attacks
Chocolate is high in saturated fat, but the particular type – stearic acid – predominant in cocoa butter does not raise cholesterol like other saturates.
Research found that people consuming the most chocolate had a 37% lower risk of heart disease and a 29% lower risk of stroke than those who consumed less chocolate.
It’s good for your bones
This is where the sweeter, less cocoa-rich bars actually score better, as they count as a dairy-rich food that helps keep your bones strong.
A small (50g) bar of white chocolate contains one sixth of the recommended daily allowance of calcium, and the same size bar of milk chocolate contains a little less.
It may help with fatigue
A small study of 10 chronic fatigue patients carried out, found that those given 45g of 85% cocoa chocolate daily reported less fatigue, anxiety and depression than those given placebo chocolate with low antioxidants.
It helps with lowering blood pressure
Flavanols found in cocoa beans aid production of nitric oxide, which stimulates blood vessels to dilate.
One analysis of 850 mainly healthy participants found that flavanol-rich chocolate and cocoa products had a small but statistically significant effect in lowering blood pressure in the short term.