Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chocolate Its better than OK

Easter Sunday is the day when everyone can indulge their love of chocolate without feeling guilty-and rightly so. Chocolate is universal. It is said that nine out of ten people say they like chocolate and the tenth is lying.

So why the guilt about chocolate and do we need to feel guilty? Simple answer -NO Chocolate is not intrinsically bad for us. At levels of cocoa of 70% it is actually good for us. What applies to you will depend on how much you eat and the quality.

Chocolate is viewed with suspicion because it tastes so good. As a “pleasure” it has been seen as sinful. There are also linkages between chocolate and that other great “sin” of humanity-sex.

So lets look at the “health benefits” of chocolate. The good feeling you get is not imagined. Chocolate contains a phyto-nutrient, which is an endorphin. The “high” from eating chocolate can be similar to the high runners get. It comes from the endorphins (the bodies natural happy hormone). Chocolate is virtually an antidepressant. Is it any wonder people turn to chocolate when they feel down?

Dark chocolate has lots of minerals including potassium, zinc, copper, chromium and magnesium. Many women turn to chocolate if they have pre menstrual symptoms. This is related to low magnesium. Again the body knows what it needs.

Cocoa is rich in antioxidants (10g dark chocolate has the same amount as a cup of green tea). The glycaemic index(GI)of chocolate is 40. Polyphenols in cocoa can reduce LDL(bad cholesterol). There are also good fats in chocolate.

Above all else fun is one of the pillars of health. Apart from providing goodness for us, our food needs to give us joy. Chocolate scores ten out of ten on this one.

So as I said above, there is no need to feel guilty about eating a bit of chocolate today or on any other day. This does not mean a bar a day and yes you can get all the above nutrients from other sources, perhaps without the same amount of fun. The best is 70% cocoa and organic is great if you can get it.

As part of a balanced DIY health program chocolate hits the spot.

Happy Easter Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Love this line - "Apart from providing goodness for us, our food needs to give us joy. Chocolate scores ten out of ten on this one." - Thanks for putting chocolate in such a positive LIGHT ;) - I do hope you enjoyed a happy Easter Sunday!
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