We are often told that eating chocolate is good for your mood and will help to give you a boost of happiness during a long day. But what is the science behind this claim and is it something that we should all actually be doing? Furthermore, are there additional health benefits to be gained from eating chocolate beyond improving your mood? There is much conflicting advice on whether we should be eating chocolate very day, with several well-respected nutritionists on either side of the fence. Keep reading for a breakdown of this information that should help you to make your own mind up!
Chocolate is made by roasting cocoa beans and combining them with sugar. Other ingredients will also by added during the production process depending on the manufacturer. There are several different types of chocolate, with milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate being the most popular varieties. Milk chocolate contains certain dairy milk components and will generally have a light appearance and sweet flavour. Dark chocolate will mostly be made up of cocoa and will be quite dark and bitter. And finally, white chocolate uses only cocoa butter instead of the beans, making it much sweeter than the other two types and great for using in baking.
When it comes to considering how healthy chocolate is, dark chocolate is the optimum choice. For this reason, including dark chocolate in your diet every day is the type of chocolate we will discuss in this article for its potential health benefits.
Studies have shown that eating approximately 100g of dark chocolate every day can help to lower your blood pressure. Eating this chocolate every day could also help to improve cognitive function, as well as lowering levels of LDL cholesterol in the body and aiding digestion.
So why is dark chocolate so useful for the body? The answer lies with the nutritional make up of this delicious food. A 100g serving of dark chocolate contains approximately 11g of fiber, 67% of your RDA of iron, 58% of your RDA of magnesium, 89% of your RDA of copper, 98% of your RDA of manganese and also an abundance of those all important antioxidants! This same portion size also contains beneficial amounts of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium! Dark chocolate is also known to stimulate the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that provide us with a pleasurable feeling. It also naturally contains serotonin which works as a kind of natural anti-depressant.
Now that you know why dark chocolate is so great for you, you can aim to include a small amount in your diet every day!