THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHOCOLATE
Yes, it's true, Chocolate which is high in cocoa solids (70% or more) is now recognised as having many qualities that are beneficial to health,
Chocolate contains essential trace elements and nutrients such as iron, calcium and potassium, and vitamins A. B1, C, D, and E.
Cocoa is also the highest natural source for Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is linked with hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, joint problems and pre-menstrual tension (PMT or PMS).
There are benefits in Chocolate for both men and women:
the high Magnesium content of Chocolate is beneficial for the Cardiovascular System and hypertension -
the fat in high quality plain chocolate (although technically a 'saturated fat') can be considered cholesterol free as it does not fur up the arteries or contribute to high cholesterol levels.
It's a pre-menstrual drop in progesterone levels which is responsible for the violent mood swings familiar to so many women (and their families), adding magnesium to a sufferers diet has been proved to increase pre-menstrual progesterone levels, thus alleviating the problem.
WHAT IS THE HEALTHIEST CHOCOLATE?
It's a fact that plain dark chocolate products containing a minimum 70% or more cocoa solids are the healthiest and the best way to satisfy a craving for chocolate, without consuming too much sugar and saturated fat or HVO. If your a Milk or White Chocolate lover, choose products with a minimum of 30% chocolate solids (Milk Chocolate) or 30% chocolate butter (white chocolate).
Chocolate lovers go wrong by choosing cheap (& not so cheap) "brand name" chocolate or chocolates, low in chocolate solids (ave is less than 20% chocolate solids, but some can contain less than 7%), all are high in sugar content, saturated fats and other nasties such as HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil) and consequently can be disastrous for both teeth and health.
Incidentally, chocolates, both the commercial variety and (sadly) many hand made chocolates varieties, are some of the worst culprits with centres consisting almost exclusively of flavoured Fondant and Praline, fondant is virtually 100% sugar and pralines can be just as bad.
Enjoy your Easter bunnies