Scientific evidence to justify our cheat days? Yes, please!
Sometimes all we want is a sweet treat – so we found six reasons why there’s no need ever to feel bad about eating a bit of dark chocolate. You’re welcome!
1 It calms us down
A small amount of dark chocolate two or three times a week can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke (especially in guys – so share your stash of 70% Lindt!).
2 It makes things flow
The flavonoids present in chocolate improve circulation and may help prevent the formation of blood clots.
3 It gives us butterflies
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), one of the neurochemicals that makes us feel like we’re falling in love. PEA also encourages the brain to release endorphins, which is why eating dark chocolate makes us happy.
4 It keeps things working
Chocolate helps to keep blood vessels healthy, and could help protect the body against Type 2 diabetes.
5 It keeps us young
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, which can slow the appearance of ageing. Added bonus: antioxidants are also really important in protecting the body from certain types of cancer.
6 It has what we need
Dark chocolate contains potassium, copper, magnesium and iron. No wonder it’s such a good PMS-buster!
If you’re on a pretty strict eating plan and craving chocolate, but you don’t want to cheat on the diet too often, snack on a handful of nuts and seeds. It’s possible that your body is simply lacking magnesium – and pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, cashews and almonds all have high concentrations of the mineral.