7 Reasons to Gorge on Chocolate Without Feeling Guilty

7 Reasons to Gorge on Chocolate Without Feeling Guilty

With Easter on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about chocolate. Beautiful, magical, amazing chocolate. It’s there for us when we’re down; it makes a pleasant afternoon snack when we need a quick pick-me-up, and it goes so well in a multitude of recipes (including this Divine salted chocolate bacon Manhattan – yes, you read correct).

But if you’re prone to feeling a little guilty when you’ve indulged in a bit of the stuff, it may help to know that there’s an increasing amount of research to show that chocolate (and it’s raw source cacao) is actually very good for our health – meaning we have every good reason to include it in our diets!

Check out these 7 reasons to gorge on chocolate without feeling guilty.

1. It helps with stress.

You might be thinking, “Well, duh.” But no, seriously – the consumption of chocolate in moderation has been found to have a significant impact on lowering blood pressure and stress levels, as well as inducing the release of the feel-good hormone serotonin.

So next time you’re feeling a little frazzled or low, try a hot chocolate as a perfectly healthy (we feel) mood booster. Hey, it’s healthier than a cigarette.

2. It could help protect your skin.

Recent studies have shown that the regular  consumption of chocolate could help to protect our skin against sun damage, thanks to the powerful force of those flavenoids prominently associated with chocolate. Although we strongly recommend you still wear some form of sun protection(!), you’ll be happy to know that eating chocolate high in flavenoids might just ward off those UV wrinkles a little longer and keep your complexion fresh.

3. It could help keep you younger, longer.

Another wonderful thing about chocolate is that it has been found to improve memory skills and sharpen cognitive functions. On this note, it may well stop our brains from “whirring into old age” – which is something imaginably none of us want.

4. It’s packed with beneficial minerals.

Whoever said chocolate didn’t come with nutritional benefits was wrong. So wrong.

High quality dark chocolate or cocoa actually delivers a substantial hit of your daily intake of potassium, magnesium, zinc, selenium and even iron. So tell that to the non-chocolate eating folks out there.

5. It’s good for the heart.

And we don’t just mean because it makes you feel warm and snuggly inside (undoubtedly also very important). Eating chocolate has actually been proven to boost heart health and circulation, lower cholesterol and even reduce the risk of stroke. So you might even say that a supplement of chocolate every day is a great way to get that glowing skin you’re after.

6. It helps with appetite control and even weight loss.

If you’re one of those people who avoids chocolate like the plague lest they gain an extra couple of pounds – fear not. Chocolate is actually pretty powerful at suppressing one’s appetite thanks to the filling fibre it contains, and it’s been found that allowing a square of dark chocolate to melt slowly in the mouth 20 minutes before a meal actually triggers the “I’m full” sensation and helps you to eat less. (This can also be a nice ritual 20 minutes after a meal too.)

In fact, it’s been found that people who regularly eat chocolate are on the whole thinner than their non-chocolate eating counterparts. So put those weight-gain fears to bed now and get the Green & Black’s out.

7. Antioxidants, antioxidants, antioxidants!

Did we mention….antioxidants?

Pretty much everything we read shouts the praises of these little things, often found in fresh fruits such as berries and green vegetables. But cacao and chocolate is also full of the stuff, helping to fight free radicals in the body, boost immunity and fight disease. Yet another reason to get your chocolate fix!

 

To enjoy these health benefits, stick to dark chocolate with a cocoa percentage of 70{c5c77e9c80c00ad5374fc6d6ecb6341fc292b0f2de457d7c0c3133dab2c520cf} and above, or try raw chocolate sweetened with coconut sugar for a really sweet take on health food.