Surprise! Chocolate might actually be good for you

A guilty pleasure no more

Chocolate is one of those treats that, despite whatever healthy eating plan we may be on, we can’t seem to say no to. While it might be often thought of as a naughty indulgence, with research highlighting the pros of flavanol (a naturally occurring antioxidant found in cacao) dark chocolate could actually turn out to be surprisingly healthy. Here’s why:

It helps you lose weight

Will Clower in his book Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight, suggests that melting a piece of chocolate on your tongue twenty minutes before a meal triggers a hormone in your brain that tells you you’re full, reducing the amount you consumed. Similarly, finishing your food with another bite could prevent further snacking. Square of the good stuff anyone?

Protects skin

Clowers also suggests that the flavanols in dark chocolate help to protect skin against UV damage. However, suncream is still a must – don’t expect a bar of Dairy Milk to shield you from the UAE heat.

Improves your memory

According to researchers, people that regularly eat chocolate (whatever the type) are more likely to perform better in tests involving cognitive function like memory and abstract thinking… perhaps that explains why chocolate isn’t forgotten, even if it’s not on the shopping list.

Reduces blood pressure

Chocolate that’s rich in flavanols is said to lower blood pressure, according to a 2012 study. The bases of the experiment dates back to 1944 when researchers examined differing levels of blood pressure in Kuna Indians – a tribe that drank 3-4 cups of cacao daily.

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Celebrate the good news and indulge in some seriously delicious chocolatey recipes or pick up a bar in store – we know we will.