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Chocolate Headlines-5 reasons Easter Chocolate can help us feel better

  1. Immune supporting- yes you read correctly, eating chocolate can support your immune system. Dark Chocolate is packed with anti oxidants which as we know work to counteract those pesky free radicals.  Flavonoids and polyphenols (polly-feen-ols) are the main anti oxidants in dark chocolate. The higher the cocoa percentage, the more of these anti oxidants you can benefit from 
  2. Brain boosting– the same anti oxidants that can help your immune system have been shown to help with blood flow to the brain which as we know, is good for brain health. There is even research ongoing as to how/if this might be useful in people with Alzheimers Disease and Parkinsons Disease 
  3. Mood lifting– Chocolate releases feel good hormones Endorphins as well as Serotonin which is the reason we get a pick me up after a a few bites of chocolate goodness. 
  4. Blood Pressure Lowering – a study in 2015 looked at this in more detail and found that a group of patients (with known blood pressure and type 2 diabetes )that consumed 25g of dark chocolate regularly had better outcomes with blood pressure 
  5. Gut bacteria benefitting-  your good gut bacteria ( that is the bacteria in our guts that are beneficial for health)  have been shown to thrive on some of the ingredients in dark chocolate and as a result, produce compounds that are anti inflammatory. Reducing inflammation is a really important way of reducing our risks for many chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes. 

Anything else?

Yes! It’s not just cocoa- particularly in dark chocolate you will find nutrients including Magnesium ( a Noggin favourite for brain health), Iron, Manganese (important for bone health and possible blood sugar )  and Copper ( essential for heart and bone health )

What about chocolate other than dark chocolate?

The good news is that milk chocolate has benefits too- whilst there is little doubt that dark chocolate probably has more health benefits and is regarded as a ‘healthier’ form of chocolate, a study published in 2017 found that eating 100g of milk chocolate lowered risk of death by heart disease and also stroke risk by around 23%* 

As you unwrap your Easter Egg this week end, there might be more than just the yummy taste that you are benefiting from!

Happy Easter from all at Noggin HQ

Stay well

Dr Clara Russell 

*Kwok CS, Boekholdt SM, Lentjes MAH, et alHabitual chocolate consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease among healthy men and womenHeart 2015;101:1279-1287.