Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Easter Chocolate - Not all bad!!

Well what do you know, an Easter break, kids on holiday and fabulous weather - better than the Mediterranean - I'm all for that!  So hopefully the Easter Chocs made it to the fridge OK before melting in the heat and you managed to put your feet up and enjoy the sun too.

Chocolate has been damned rather as a "health food" due mainly to the amount of calories from the high sugar and fat content (however chocolate also contains antibacterial agents that fight tooth decay!).  It may also trigger headaches, especially migraines in some individuals but it's not all bad - here are some facts for you to chomp on:

Chocolate has:
Flavonoids - pigments found in (usually dark coloured) plants that act as antioxidants.  Antioxidants reduce oxidative damage to your body by neutralising destructive free radicals.  Free radical damaged cells can result in clogging of the arteries, arthritis, cancer and a myriad of illnesses and aging.  The flavonoids also help to keep blood vessels elastic.  Antioxidants are an important part of our diet, found in leafy vegetables and fruit and in certain vitamins and minerals eg Vits A,C & E, zinc and selenium.

Serotonin - a neurotransmitter that acts as an anti-depressant.

Theobromine & Phenylethylamine - stimulants and mood elevators (though theobromine is dangerous to dogs)

Minerals & Vitamins especially Potassium, Magnesium, B1,B2, D & E

Stearic Acid - a neutral fat that doesn't raise "bad" cholesterol

Stimulates the secretion of endorphins - like a "runners high" without the work! 


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