Welcome back to the self care inspiration series. A collection of posts all about self care, looking after yourself and creating a happier you. This week is all about the benefits of chocolate, believe it or not.
A lot of people don’t know where to start with self care, or they think that they don’t have the time, so to help you out, I will be posting my tips, tricks, and inspiration for that much needed you time, helping to create a moment of calm in our busy lives.
I don’t know about you, but my life is so hectic during the week, that by the time the weekend gets here, I just need to chill out a little bit and do something for myself that makes me happy. This series is all about making you smile and making you feel good about yourself so that you’re left feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.
The benefits of Chocolate
For this weeks self care post,
Before you run to the shops to pick up a bar laden with caramel and marshmallows, have a look at these helpful tips to make sure you’re getting the best out of the chocolate you eat:
Think about the colour
When choosing your chocolate, you should always go for the dark variety. Out of the three types of chocolate, it’s the only one that has proven health
The ones to avoid
Milk chocolate is yummy, but it is nowhere near as good for you as dark chocolate. Milk chocolate has a lot of milk and sugar added to it which is used to combat the bitter taste that dark chocolate can have. It also contains less of the cocoa bean than dark chocolate, and the cocoa bean is where the nutritional value is.
White chocolate, while also nice to eat doesn’t contain cocoa solids, which is where all the nutrition is found. White chocolate is made from cocoa butter, sugar and milk, so there isn’t really anything in it that will have any nutritional value, just a lot of sugar.
If you want to enjoy all the health benefits that chocolate can bring, I would stick to the dark stuff. It’s also worth noting that the recommended amount you should have is about 30/60g a day.
Finding a good one
If you want to find
Some things to look out for:
- Not much sugar
- No added milk
- 70% cocoa or higher
Dark chocolate contains a number of minerals including iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese, all of which are beneficial to your health.
Any woman knows that iron is important for us females, and luckily dark chocolate provides quite a bit of it. When eaten in moderation with other
Dark chocolate is also a good source of fiber and protein which can help to manage your weight and stabalise blood sugars. It’s also rich in antioxidants which can help to prevent a wide range of illnesses and problems. What better reasons do you need to indulge a little bit?
Dark chocolate is proven to be a mood booster, and can help with stress levels, and in some cases, depression.
Resveratrol, which is an antioxidant found in dark chocolate, can boost endorphin and serotonin levels in the brain. Endorphins and serotonin can both improve your mood and make you feel happier.
Physical health benefits
As well as being great for your mental health, chocolate can also do a lot of good for your pysical health
Did you know that chocolate is actually good for your heart? Dark chocolate contains, among other things, flavonoids, that help to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart. They also protect against damage to the lining of the arteries and help to prevent blood clots.
Chocolate contains saturated fats, but unlike the saturated fats in meat and dairy products, the ones in chocolate don’t make your cholesterol levels go up, so you can enjoy a sweet treat without worrying.
Chocolate has an anti aging affect and is good for our skin. The polyphenols and flavonoids in dark chocolate can help to absorb uv light. This protects our skin from the sun and improves its natural resistance to uv. It also helps to increase blood flow, keep the skin hydrated and increase it’s density. What could be better?
Chocolate is said to help your eyes and in turn, your vision. Research has found that people perorm better on vision tests when they eat dark chocolate. The flavanols in dark chocolate increase blood flow to the retina and help to maintain our eye health.
So, as you can see above, chocolate is actually good for you!
Why not use it as a little pick me up to beat the Monday blues? Or you could indulge in some on a Friday evening when the kids are in bed to kickstart your weekend. Whenever you decide to have some, sit back and think of the health benefits.
- Stick to dark chocolate, the others don’t have any health benefits
- Pick chocolate which is at least 70% cocoa
- Don’t go over 30/60g a day
I don’t know about you, but I’m now off to buy some chocolate.