Chocolate… the word alone can make you smile.
Chocolate lovers like you and I know the unique emotional satisfaction that comes from treating yourself to a chunk or two of high-quality, delicious chocolate. It is the ultimate reward, triggering feelings of wellbeing and pleasure.
But sadly for many, eating chocolate can also trigger the good old guilt response. That is particularly true for those trying to watch their waistline or eat more healthily.
So, is the guilt necessary? Can’t we enjoy our chocolate treats without feeling bad?
We say yes! Chocolate might even be good for you. In fact, good quality chocolate eaten in small amounts can be part of a healthy diet – science says so!
Let’s delve deeper into the many health benefits of artisanal chocolate so that you can savour your cacao-based morsels minus the self-shaming.
Is Chocolate Good For You?
Put Your Hands Together For Flavonols!
One of the most well-researched components of chocolate are the flavanols found within the cocoa beans. They are more abundant in dark chocolate. These are antioxidants that can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. Plus, they also keep your blood vessels in good working order. They may even assist with better blood sugar management.
As if that weren’t enough to have you peeling open a bar of rich, dark chocolate, studies have also shown that these flavonols can keep your brain operating well as you age. More specifically, one study revealed improvements in attention and verbal skills in elderly people who consumed a cocoa drink for eight weeks.
When it comes to the big issues like cancer, the jury is still out. Although some studies found the flavonols in chocolate might lower the chance of getting certain cancers, other research found no benefit whatsoever.
Forget The Caffeine, Go For Theobromine
While caffeine provides an energy boost that is only temporary, the theobromine found in chocolate trumps this. It gives a similar energetic feel. But, it doesn’t have the spike and drop associated with caffeine consumption. So, if you are after a steady source of energy to help you focus and improve your mood, chocolate might be the answer!
Slip, Slop, Slap… And Eat Chocolate!
Here’s one we bet you didn’t know. Those lovely little flavonols can protect your skin from sun damage! Over time, the thickness and hydration of your skin may improve. That means you will get a little extra protection from the sun. But don’t count on it too much! There is only so much that humble bar of chocolate can do. Make sure you keep using the sunscreen while you munch on your treats!
Lift Your Spirits
It is not just your imagination. Eating chocolate actually does make you feel good! Consuming cocoa triggers the release of serotonin, dopamine and endorphins in the brain. Those are all things that cause positive emotions and sensations in the mind and body.
Don’t forget that too much of a good thing is never recommended. Yes, it can be good for you in small amounts. But, the health benefits of chocolate can be negated if you eat too much.
Remember, that all these positives tend to come from chocolate that has a higher cocoa content and less sugar and fat to cancel out the goodness. Choosing artisanal chocolate and eating it in moderation is the way to go.
And, we can deliver a fantastic selection of NZ artisan chocolate to your doorstep every month. Check out the different subscription options here.