Easter, Christmas and holidays are all times when there is a lot of chocolate around. The good news is that chocolate doesn’t have to be bad for you, and if you eat the right type it can actually benefit your health! Although seemingly too good to be true, studies have shown that cacao beans are rich in antioxidants which have been found to be antiinflammatory and reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
As well this, chocolate makes us feel good, in part because of its ability to increase levels of the mood enhancing neurotransmitter tryptophan in the brain. Chocolate also contains magnesium, a nutrient which has key roles in muscle relaxation and nervous system function, so reaching for chocolate in times of stress may be a sign that we need more magnesium!
So how can you reap some of these benefits? The best type of chocolate you can eat is the dark variety with high levels of cocoa (try for 60-70%), as these will contain the highest amounts of antioxidants with lower levels of sugar. An even healthier option is to source out some raw chocolate from your health food store, which is even higher in antioxidants as the cacao beans are not roasted, and they are sweetened without sugar.
Katherine believes that everyone should have a treat now and again, so why not try 70% cocoa Lindt, or some Loving Earth raw chocolate, for a guilt-free treat!