Sunday 22 January 2017

7 healthy reasons to eat chocolate on World Chocolate Day

Published 07/07/2016 | 15:00

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Anyone for a Lindt bar?

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With today being World Chocolate Day, there's reason enough to chow down on the sweet stuff like Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

However, aside from being mouth-wateringly delicious, there are actual health benefits to eating chocolate too.

Here are seven reasons to raid the sweets press today and have some chocolate, guilt-free:

Chocolate Garden Carlow
Chocolate Garden Carlow

1. It helps you deal with stress

A study in Finland found that women who ate chocolate were able to deal with stress better than those who didn’t. Sounds good to us.

2. Chocolate may help improve your skin

The flavanols in dark chocolate were seen to give skin protection from UV rays, a London study found.

A Swiss chocolate has been invented to
A Swiss chocolate has been invented to "alleviate period pains"

3. It’s very nutritious

Dark chocolate, that is. A 100 gram bar of chocolate with 70%-85% cocoa has 11 grams of fiber, 98% of the RDA for Manganese, 67% of the RDA for Iron and 58% of the RDA for Magnesium.

4. It can help you lose weight

Neuroscientist Will Clower says eating chocolate 20 minutes before and 5 minutes after lunch and dinner can cut your appetite by up to 50%.

The typical Western consumer eats an average 286 chocolate bars a year
The typical Western consumer eats an average 286 chocolate bars a year

5. It’s good for the heart

A study by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that dark chocolate helps restore flexibility to arteries while preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels.

6. It’s a good source of antioxidants

Dark chocolate is packed full of antioxidants, with one study showing it contained more antioxidant activity than other fruits, including blueberries and Acai berries.

Brownie
Brownie

7. It’s good for the brain

Flavanols in dark chocolate have been found beneficial in treating injuries to the brain, such as concussion.

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