V-Day and Easter are more synonymous with chocolate, but the real day for indulging in this beloved treat is World Chocolate Day on 7 July. Not all chocolate is created equal, however. To reap the health benefits of cocoa, have dark choc with a percentage of 70% or more.
1. Raw, unprocessed cocoa beans contain one of the highest levels of antioxidants found in food, which are powerful compounds that fight cell damage.
2. Dark chocolate has been shown to improve blood flow to the brain and its flavanols are linked to a decrease in memory loss in the elderly.
3. US neuroscientist Dr Will Clower claims that a small square of dark chocolate melted on the tongue 20 minutes before a meal can actually cause you to eat less food, as it triggers a feeling of satiety.
4. Cocoa is said to also be heart-healthy, as it can help to lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by shrinking your levels of bad cholesterol.
5. Chocolate also encourages your body to release feel-good endorphins, which can make you feel better during a stressful day at the office.
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[images by etiana-bykovets via Unsplash]