Happy days! Chocolate can be good for us

FINALLY, the news all chocoholics have been waiting for, chocolate can be good for us!
A 12-year study of the snacking habits of 21,000 people has showed that chocolate can cut the risk of heart attacks and strokes. And it’s not just dark chocolate that has beneficial effects, milk chocolate can also be good for the heart.
The latest study, from the universities of Aberdeen, Manchester, Cambridge and East Anglia in the UK, found that people who eat up to 100g of chocolate a day are 11 per cent less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular problem than people who eat none at all. It is believed the flavonoids, a type of antioxidant found in chocolate and also in tea and red wine, are the reason for the benefits as they can help stimulate blood flow and reduce the free radicals, which can cause disease.
But what other benefits can be found?
Brain function
Chocolate is one of the richest natural sources of magnesium, a mineral essential for brain health. Eating just a small amount of one or two squares a day, can help boost concentration and alertness.
Slows ageing
Scientists found that a diet rich in antioxidant foods helps protect the brain against the build-up of amyloid plaques, which can interrupt normal brain function and can cause dementia. A 1998 Harvard study of 8,000 people found that those who ate chocolate three or more times a month lived for almost a year longer than those who didn’t.
Fights colds
A study found that naturally occurring antioxidants found in chocolate boosted the immune system, helping to rid us of coughs and colds.
Tooth decay
Chocolate can actually good for your teeth. Theobromine, the stimulant compound found in chocolate, hardens tooth enamel more effectively than fluoride and can protect teeth against erosion by acids. It can also help fight oral bacteria.
Reduce stress
Stress can be caused by the improper function of the pituitary gland but chocolate keeps this gland supplied with magnesium, which helps it function properly and lowers the production of the ‘stress hormone.’ Chocolate also helps stimulate the production of serotonin, known as the ‘happiness hormone.’
Beauty benefits
Cocoa-based products are often used in beauty items. The antioxidants have a nourishing effect, which reduces the skin damage that can be caused by sun, pollution and alcohol.
Raw cocoa powder can increase the activity of natural collagen, which helps skin look younger and healthier.
Need any more reasons to go and grab a bar?

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