It may seem hard to believe that something so delicious could be good for you too – and that’s why we’re here to set the record straight and take the guilt out of your daily chocolate habit.
It is important to remember that the chocolate we are referring to here is not the sugar-laden milk chocolate bar at the checkout. We’re talking about dark chocolate, the 70 – 80% kind with high concentrations of cacao and nutrients retained inside.
And so with no further ado, here are 4 powerful reasons that chocolate is good for you…
1. HIGHER INTELLIGENCE
That’s right, chocolate just might make you smarter. For example, do you often find yourself reaching for a piece of chocolate in times of pressure and overwhelm? This is because your body knows that once chocolate touches your lips you will experience a boost in brainpower and can far more easily ward off the effects of stress as a result.
A University of Nottingham researcher even found that drinking cocoa rich in flavanols boosts blood flow to key parts of the brain for 2 to 3 hours, which could improve performance and alertness in the short term. And that’s not to mention the long-term benefits – other researchers from Oxford University for example found that those who consumed flavanol-rich chocolate, wine, or tea scored significantly higher on cognitive tests than those who didn’t.
2. IMPROVED MEMORY
Dark Chocolate has long been regarded a “brain food” and for good reason too. Not only has its consumption been linked to higher levels of intelligence but it has also been associated with improved memory recall and lower rates of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and stroke. Numerous studies have proven this being due to the flavanol-rich cocoa increasing blood flow to cerebral gray matter - benefiting neurological conditions associated with limited cerebral blood flow.
3. CAN CHOCOLATE PREVENT CANCER?
While that may seem like an outrageous statement, there is some truth in it - the tasty dark chocolate you know and love may in fact help ward off cancer. The American Cancer Institute for example investigated this correlation, finding that due to chocolate’s rich supply of flavonoids and strong antioxidant effects, it is ‘suggestive’ of cancer protective properties and further studies will be conducted.
4. WEIRD TUMMY?
While we had never heard of this before, both South American and European cultures have a history that dates back to the 16th century – treating diarrhoea with cocoa. Since then, modern da science has proven they were onto something.
Scientists at the Children’s Hospital Oakland for example found that cocoa flavonoids bind to a protein in the small intestine, potentially stopping diarrhoea in its tracks.
Some weird, some wonderful – here are just some of the benefits that come with regular consumption of a healthy amount of dark chocolate. It’s almost as if our body is asking us for balance – a balance of vegetables, healthy fats, proteins, complex carbohydrates and chocolate.
When we consume chocolate we like to know exactly what we’re putting in our body and it’s for that reason that we can’t look past Chow Cacao. With raw and organic ingredients, sugar-free and with minimal processing this sustainably sourced and fair-trade chocolate is good for us and the planet, what’s not to love?
Name a better smell than pulling out a tray of freshly baked veggie rolls from the oven. We'll wait ;)
These Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Feta Rolls from Alyse Co-cliff of @anappleaday_nutrition featured in our Autumn RY Magazine and are perfect for any occasion.
Who can resist a delicious chocolate sundae? No...seriously, we would love to meet them if that type of person exists!
A go-to sundae recipe that we run to time and time and which featured in the RY Autumn Magazine, is this yummy Healthy and Vegan Chocolate Sundae that Coconut Bowls shared with us.