I lead a fairly normal healthy life – I don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, eat well (mostly), exercise regularly, and drink occasionally (that’s what I tell my doctor anyway).
However, it’s around this time annually for approximately a week or two I lose control – you see I have an addiction that I cannot deny. It has always been there to provide comfort, soothing yet the excitement of sneaking in a bit here and there, thinking no one notices, you’d think it’s forbidden. I have fond memories of its touch – smooth, and nothing feels better on my tongue – it makes my skin tingle, and my heart beat a little faster as I slowly unwrap it. I look at it lying there naked and stop myself from devouring it straight away – I want this to last, knowing that after I have it I’ll want…no, need, more to relive the ecstasy over and over.
And then a couple of days into my binge it hits…a blemish here and there, a few puss filled pimples pop up their ugly heads to remind me that I have had a little too much! I know in myself that that is not where it ends…my sleep doesn’t seem to be as peaceful, I become more irritable, my desire for exercise wains, and my body generally feels like its performing at 50%.
How can chocolate be so good but then be so bad? Why does it seduce me at Easter every year and then cast me aside after it’s used me?
In our industry we see the benefits of maintaining a healthy diet, namely healthy body & mind. Unfortunately the health benefits we find in chocolate are not enhanced when we apply the ‘more
is better’ approach but there are some good ones worth noting such as:
- The flavonoid found in dark chocolate known as flavonols help your skin looking its best. The antioxidants that protect your skin from UV damage which means fewer wrinkles & sun spots, and they assist blood flow to help you look radiant!
- One study has found that dark chocolate assists with improved skin hydration and we all know that means younger looking skin.
- The flavonoids can also help keep your platelets less sticky decreasing your risk of heart attack or stroke from a clot.
- Dark Chocolate can help relax vessels which in turn reduces blood pressure.
- Can help reduce stress hormones, which means less collagen breakdown in the skin, and fewer wrinkles.
- Finally, and probably the one that reels me in is the mood enhancing neurotransmitters.
Important things to consider when buying/eating chocolate:
- 70% + cocoa dark chocolate to reap any of the health benefits mentioned above.
- Portion size does matter, other than flavonoids – you’re getting sugar, fat, and calories. (1 – 2 squares).