These benefits will leave you feeling less guilty about eating chocolate…
It’s World Chocolate Day this Saturday, July 7, which means you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in the delicious cacao treat.
The day was commercialised in 2009 and has been observed annually since then.
While some people believe International Chocolate Day, as it is also called, celebrates the introduction of chocolate to Europe in 1550, chocolate lovers around the world are just happy to consume as much as possible.
With Milk Chocolate Day taking place later this month, some chocolate lovers might be getting a lot of side-eye from concerned family and friends in July – and with good reason.
Eating too much chocolate can lead to weight gain thanks to its high-calorie count.
The high sugar content is also one of the reasons people with conditions such as diabetes avoiding eating chocolate.
But there are many benefits to eating chocolate, particularly dark chocolate made with 70% and above cocoa.
Dark chocolate makes you happy
Feeling down? A piece of chocolate can help take your blues away. According to Science Focus, tryptophan, an amino acid found in chocolate “is used by the brain to make serotonin, the neurotransmitter that can produce feelings of happiness”. Phenylethylalanine, which is associated with the “euphoria of falling in love” is also found in chocolate.
Dark chocolate can help control your appetite
The fibre found in dark chocolate can help fill you up. But don’t go eating an entire slab of chocolate. Moderation is key when indulging in your favourite dark chocolate. Self magazine reports that a 100-gram bar of dark chocolate (made from 70-85% cocoa) contains 11 grams of fibre. We typically need about 25 grams of fibre per day.
Dark chocolate can help improve your heart’s health
According to a 2015 Huffington Post article, eating dark chocolate can “lower blood pressure, lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol” and provides a “lower risk of heart disease”. This is because antioxidants in dark chocolate have inflammation-fighting properties that are known to reduce cardiovascular risk.
Watch the video below for some delicious dark chocolate recipes you can try this weekend.
Image credit: Dark chocolate iStock/Lina Moiseienko