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Chocolate Week - 8 Facts About Dark Chocolate
This October we are celebrating one of the nation’s favourites – CHOCOLATE! Whilst chocolate remains firm on the list of things we say we should give up, chocolate of the dark variety has a surprising amount of health benefits. Yes, it tastes a little bitter, but this is only due to the rich amount of antioxidants that are the lifeblood of dark chocolate. Intrigued? Here are eight things you need to know about dark chocolate.
1. It has anti-inflammatory properties
Dark chocolate is packed with a phytochemical group called flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants. These flavonoids are known to provide numerous health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties.
2. It can improve your heart health and boost your blood circulation
The antioxidants in cocoa have been shown to have an extremely positive effect on cardiovascular health, due to the anti-inflammatory properties I mentioned above.
3. It’s packed with minerals
Dark chocolate is rich in minerals like iron and copper and is also packed with potassium. Zinc and selenium also make an appearance! These minerals can help regulate normal blood pressure and therefore help maintain a healthy heartbeat.
4. It can reduce cholesterol
There are two different types of cholesterol in your body, and cocoa has been proven to reduce the amount of ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) and boost the ‘good cholesterol’. However, not all dark chocolate is created equal, so it’s important to check the cocoa percentage to see how much of the good stuff you’re actually getting.
5. It can make you happy
The levels of serotonin in dark chocolate are thought to be very high and may even act as an anti-depressant. Furthermore, chocolate contains phenylethylamine – the chemical your brain releases when you’re falling in love!
6. And it can even help prevent diabetes!
Cocoa has been proven to improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin, so in moderation, eating the chocolate of the dark variety could prevent the onset of diabetes.
7. It is quite often dairy and lactose free
Which is great news if you’re dairy free. Just make sure you always check the ingredients!
8. And there are many delicious flavours which you can try
Everything from salted caramel, chilli, lime and mint – there is a dark chocolate flavour for every palette!