Dark cho­co­late can help im­prove your mood, your health and well-be­ing

Noosa Life and Style - - FOOD -

DON’T feel guilty about tuck­ing into a box of choco­lates – re­search shows cho­co­late can boost your health. That’s right. Its ben­e­fits range from im­prov­ing your mood to be­ing anti-in­flam­ma­tory, low­er­ing blood pres­sure, thin­ning the blood, re­duc­ing stroke risk and help­ing stop a cough. How­ever, not all cho­co­late is cre­ated equal. Opt for dark cho­co­late in­stead of milk cho­co­late, es­pe­cially those with high co­coa solid con­tent. You should be look­ing for around 70 per cent co­coa and higher. These of­fer more health ben­e­fits than their coun­ter­parts due to con­tain­ing more an­tiox­i­dants and be­ing lower in sugar. Plus, the higher the ca­cao con­tent, the higher the an­tiox­i­dant and flavonoid con­tent, which can help pro­tect against some types of can­cer, heart dis­ease and can even help lower blood pres­sure. Sci­en­tific stud­ies have shown that dark cho­co­late, which is also low GI, has the feel-good fac­tor due to mood-el­e­vat­ing chem­i­cals, in­clud­ing tryp­to­phan, ty­ro­sine, caf­feine, epi­cat­e­chin and theo­bromine. Tryp­to­phan stim­u­lates pro­duc­tion of sero­tonin, the brain's nat­u­ral anti-de­pres­sant. And be­ing low GI, means it doesn't cause a rapid rise in blood sugar lev­els af­ter be­ing eaten. So there you have it. Dark cho­co­late has many health ben­e­fits, as long as it's eaten in small amounts as part of a

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