28th March 2016 by Jess
There are a number of reasons why chocolate can be beneficial for your health, however not all chocolate is created equal. The darker the chocolate and the less refined it is the more health benefits it contains.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps the body regulate appetite, sleep patterns and mood. Poor serotonin metabolism has been linked to anxiety and depression. Dark chocolate is a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that supports the production of serotonin. I’m sure many people would agree with experiencing an improved mood after eating chocolate!
Dark chocolate contains naturally occurring antioxidants called flavanols and epicatechins (two types of flavonoids.) These antioxidants have been shown in some studies to decrease your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Cocoa is deliciously rich in minerals especially iron, copper and manganese. These little fighters are good for your immune system and the general healthy keeping of your cells from (oxidative) stress. So there are plenty of reasons to not stress whilst eating chocolate!
Not only does dark chocolate taste amazing, but it also scientifically proven to help you relax thanks to the magnesium and copper which are needed for a healthy nervous system. A bubble bath, Epsom salts plus dark chocolate is a recipe for good quality sleep.
There are many health benefits associated with regularly consuming small amounts of dark chocolate and it’s a wonderfully delicious addition to your diet – however, it doesn’t suit everyone and I would encourage you to explore whether or not chocolate loves you back!
By Jess, graze nutritionist.
Our nutritionist extraordinaire, Jess trained at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and is a registered practitioner with the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She's the creator of our health badges, to help you choose the snacks and boxes that are right for you. Check out everything from Jess on our blog, with recipes and tricks to help you keep making better choices, or go to Jess's blog at jessipes.co.uk for even more.
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