Chocolate is good for the soul!
Vitamins & nutrients
The healthiest chocolate is the one which is high in cocoa solids, containing around 60 ? 70% or more. This type of chocolate is now recognised as being beneficial to health, containing essential trace elements and nutrients such as iron, calcium, potassium and vitamins A, B1, C, D and E.
Chocolate is now considered to be up there with soya beans and green tea as antioxidant rich foods. Antioxidants are great for helping the body protect against damage caused by pollution, pesticides, smoking, stress and processed foods.
Magnesium levels in the blood are depleted with exercise and stress, however the high magnesium content in chocolate means it can be great for your heart. Magnesium is beneficial for the cardiovascular system and for hypertension and although it?s technically a ?saturated fat?, it can be considered cholesterol free as the stearic acid in better quality chocolate doesn?t block up arteries or contribute to high cholesterol levels.
The pre-menstrual drop in progesterone levels causes the violent and unpleasant mood swings experienced by many a woman (and her families) around ?that time of the month?. The magnesium levels in chocolate have been proved to increase pre-menstrual progesterone levels, thus rectifying the problem.
If you?re stressed, the chemical serotonin can help. The best way to get this is exercise, however foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan can be converted in the body to serotonin. Guess what is a good source of tryptophan? Yep ? chocolate!
Beauty is only skin deep
Does chocolate cause acne? A recent study at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States did a study with 65 acne sufferers. They all began to consume large amounts of chocolate. 46 showed no change in their condition, 10 got better and 9 got worse, indicating that chocolate has no affect on acne conditions.
Chocolate is energy dense and contains caffeine, so a small amount will give you that afternoon kick you need. Plus if you choose chocolate high in caffeine, it will contain less sugar and therefore better for you!