We've all heard that eating dark chocolate is good for you, but do you know just how beneficial eating cacao is for your body?
The cacao bean is where cocoa is extracted from, and the source of chocolate's powerful health benefits. However, the raw cacao itself is very bitter tasting (think of the strongest dark chocolate you've ever tasted) so we decided to sweeten it up with lashings of milk, sugar and butter and turn this healthy treat from nature into a processed, high calorie product.
Dark chocolate is rich in flavour and more filling then other chocolate which means you also actually need less of it.
Therefore, when we say 'eat chocolate every day' we don't mean all chocolate - steer clear of milk and white chocolate, Nutellla and possibly the worst - cheap Christmas tree chocolate, which is so heavily processed we doubt it even contains traces of the original cacao been. Stick to dark chocolate with around 70% or above cacao and enjoy the rich, nutty flavour and the following happy side effects.
1. Chocolate stimulates endorphins production which creates feelings of pleasure as well as serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant.
2. Cacao is rich in flavanoids, antioxidants which protect cells from harmful free radicals, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and absorb harmful UV rats.
3. As well as protecting your skin from sun damage, cacao increases blood flow to the skin and hydrates it.
4. Chocolate also boosts your brain power by increasing blood flow to the brain and increasing alertness and performance.
5. Dark chocolate is rich in flavour and more filling then other chocolate which means you also actually need less of it.
6. Cacao is a superfood, rich in fibre and minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and manganese.
7. Finally, dark chocolate contains chemicals which help to prevent and harm cancer. Flavanols, polyphenols and proanthocyanidins all prohibit the growth of cancer cells.