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If you’re trying to be healthy or lose weight then one of the main decisions is instantly giving up the sweet foods - but don’t be too hasty.
If you are giving up sweets then keep chocolate low on the list to give up, it can make you feel good and can prevent you nibbling on other things.
When we say chocolate we mean dark chocolate with at least 60% cocoa solids (so we're afraid Christopher Thomas that your mars bar on toast recipe won't qualify but everything in moderation...)
Here are some reasons to keep chocolate on your daily menu…
Chocolate helps protect against the sun:
Unfortunately this does not mean that we can stop using sunscreens, but dark chocolate is good for our skin.
Dark chocolate helps protect the skin thanks to the extra-healthy compounds like epicatechins, catechins, procyanidins, and other flavonoids. These all protect us from UV damage.
Chocolate puts you in a good mood:
Dark chocolate has natural ingredients that contribute to a sense of euphoria.
Chocolate eaters also report that after eating they feel less tense and more relaxed.
Chocolate contains elements that balances the body and inhibits the release of stress hormones also.
Chocolate helps reduce PMS symptoms:
Dark chocolate has magnesium in it, a mineral that helps reduce premenstrual symptoms which can include cramps, fatigue and depression.
Helps keep you satisfied for longer:
Chocolate is rich in fibre which we all know is essential for our body to function normally, instead of having a midnight feast or having lots of comfort food when you get that hunger pang simply eat some dark chocolate.
If you nibble at it and leave some for next time you will find that you will lose your appetite and this can help weight control.
It is best to take a bite out of the chocolate and let starvation pass. Dark chocolate is much more effective in contributing to Satisfaction, this will contribute to the reduction of desire for sweets, salty and fatty foods of all kinds.
Chocolate reduces the chance of stroke:
According to a study that took place in Sweden, the chances of women who ate more than forty five grams of chocolate per week had lower risk of a stroke by twenty percent compared to women who ate less than nine grams of chocolate a week.
Most Swedes know what they are talking about and again this is a true statistic!
Chocolate balances the activity of the heart:
The heart’s of chocolate eaters get great help with slower blood pressure, decreasing bad cholesterol values (LDL), and the chances of heart disease decreases accordingly.
Dark chocolate has an anti-inflammatory element that helps in reducing cardiovascular risks.
Chocolate may help in the war with Diabetes:
In a small study carried out in Italy it was discovered that eating chocolate provides permanent changes in insulin sensitivity and reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
Chocolate helps reduce coughs:
Theobromine (an alkaloid of the cacao plant) contained in chocolate, reduces some brain nerve activity, the part of the brain responsible for activating those endless cough attacks.
A few years ago the BBC reported that scientists are trying to concoct a drug that contains theobromine and serve it as a substitute for cough syrup, at the moment it is the horrible taste and other side effects that are delaying this action.
Chocolate improves eyesight and thinking:
Chocolate has ingredients that work like aspirin, help with blood flow and circulation.
Chocolate improves blood flow to the eyes to improve eyesight and the improved blood circulation also helps in learning skills that contribute to heightened alertness.
It has the exact amount of caffeine required for the body to wake up, so you can give up coffee or tea and simply eat some dark chocolate (we recommend from the fridge!)