Can chocolate be one of my five-a-day? Sadly not. However...

 

chocolate facts

 

Research has shown that as part of a healthy, balanced diet there are benefits for cardio-vascular health due to flavonoids in chocolate and it has been linked to prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

Flavonoids are antioxidants from the same “family” as those touted in green tea and red wine. In fact, studies show that the antioxidant activity in one serving of cocoa is higher than that of either tea or red wine.The darker the chocolate, the more potent antioxidants it contains.

But perhaps the most advantageous effect of chocolate has been shown to be a feeling of well-being, due to the release of serotonin (a brain chemical that helps to elevate the mood and stops you feeling down). Again, dark chocolate has the greatest effect as it has larger quantities of cocoa. Dark chocolate improves the serotonin levels partly because it contains resveratrol, which boosts both endorphins and serotonin levels. 

Here are some benefits of chocolate:

- high in antioxidants

- helps preserve cognitive function

- may help to prevent heart disease and stroke

- raises serotonin levels

- releases endorphins

- high in magnesium