Our longstanding tradition of decorated Easter eggs dates back to the 13th century when eggs were forbidden during Lent and decorated for Easter to mark the end of fasting.

 

Easter eggs

 

Chocolate has a number of positive effects on our body such as:

· helps preserve cognitive function
· may prevent heart disease, stroke
· raises serotonin levels
· releases endorphins
· brings magnesium and antioxidants

 

So can chocolate be one of my 5 a day?

Sadly not. However, 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 and depressed).