Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Chocolate Week 2012 - The Health of Chocolate

Most people LOVE chocolate, and for sure Chocolicious certainly does, but is chocolate as bad as everyone says it seems to be? Is it JUST making you gain weight? 

Yes its true, Chocolate which is high in cocoa solids (70% or more) is now recognised as having many qualities that are beneficial to health: 
  • Chocolate contains essential trace elements and nutrients such as iron, calcium and potassium, and vitamins A, B1, C, D, and E. 
  • Cocoa is also the highest natural source for Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is linked with hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, joint problems and pre-menstrual tension (PMT or PMS). 
There are benefits in Chocolate for both men and women:
  • The high Magnesium content of Chocolate is beneficial for the Cardiovascular System and hypertension.
  • It's a pre-menstrual drop in progesterone levels which is responsible for the violent mood swings familiar to so many women (and their families), adding magnesium to a sufferers diet has been proved to increase pre-menstrual progesterone levels, thus helping alleviate the symptoms. 

  • Researchers found eating 100g of dark chocolate each day for 15 days lowered blood pressure in the 15 person-study.
  • The University of L'Aquila team also found the body's ability to metabolise sugar - a problem for people with diabetes - was improved. But eating the same quantities of white chocolate did not have an effect, the researchers said.
  • Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, but also a lot of fat and calories."People who want to add some chocolate to their diet need to subtract an equivalents amount of calories by cutting back on other foods to avoid weight gain."
  • He said other foods containing flavanols, such as tea and wine, have a similar effect on blood pressure.
  • People with diabetes can eat dark chocolate like everyone else in moderation.

"However, we would still recommend a balanced low fat, salt and sugar diet that includes starchy carbohydrates and plenty of fruit and vegetables combined with regular exercise to help people with diabetes control their condition.
The benefits of eating chocolate are likely to be outweighed by the disadvantages as chocolate is high in sugar and fat."

Chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.

Wow!! Chocolate can be good for you after all.... HEALTHY AND CHOCOLICIOUS!! 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent! We can all have little bit of chocolate today and feel guilt free!