This year, chocolate has kept its crown as the food which brings the most happiness to Brits with an impressive 48% of people choosing the snack as their favourite. With the end of March this year comes Easter and the end of lent and Dechox. That's a whole lot of reasons to dream about gorging on chocolate eggs this weekend. We wanted to enjoy a guilt free Easter weekend so went about researching the surprising studies which show there could well be lots of benefits to eating chocolate. They were too good not to share so here is our top 5!
1. Reduce Stress
Women who ate chocolate during their pregnancies stated they were more able to cope with stress than those who abstained. The same applies for the happiness of their children as the babies of women who ate chocolate during pregnancy had more smiley babies who laughed more often. It turns out comfort eating chocolate may not be a bad thing after all. A swiss study found that when a group of anxious people ate a small amount of chocolate each day their stress hormone levels were significantly reduced.
2. Improve intelligence and memory loss
Stress eating chocolate when working towards a tight deadline could be beneficial for your intelligence. A University of Nottingham study has also found that drinking high flavonol chocolate drink can increase blood flow to vital parts of the brain for 2-3 hours. Flavonols are also thought to reduce memory loss in older people. Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, also contains more antioxidants gram for gram than a green apple. Antioxidants counteract cell damage have been linked with reducing the risk of developing parkinsons disease and alzeihmers.
3. Prevent Sun Damage
Although we still would recommned you apply plenty of suncream, the flavonols in chocolate have been linked with reducing the damage sun causes on our skin. After giving people chocolate with high levels of flavonols for two months, London scientists found subjects took twice as long to develop red skin associated with burning.
4. For a healthier heart
One German study has found that a square of chocolate a day lowered blood pressure and reduced the risk of a heart attack or stroke by 39%. Another 9 year Swedish study looked at the results of eating chocolate once or twice a week across 31,000 women. The results showed these women had reduced their risk of heart disease by 1/3. This is due to the flavonols which, amongst other things, increase the flexibility of veins and arteries.
5. It could even prevent diabetes...
In an Italian study, scientist found participants who ate a piece of chocolate every day for 15 days saw an improvement in their insulin levels.
The bottom line is chocolate tastes amazing and you deserve a treat! So crack open that egg open, it may even improve your health.
From all the team at The Cosy Cottage Soap Company, we hope you have a lovely relaxing Easter weekend. Don't forget to let everyone know the benefits of the delicious treat.