Easter egg

With Easter looming and the prospect of a mountain of chocolate eggs threatening to sabbotage your attempts to stick to a healthy eating regime, I am happy to tell you that it’s not all bad news.

There are in fact health benefits of chocolate – hurrah! Dark chocolate is a brilliant source of antioxidants, important for protecting the body from the damaging effects of excess free radicals. Free radical damage is believed to be one of the major ageing processes, so eating dark chocolate may help you stay looking young.

However, sadly these benefits only apply to dark chocolate, it’s best to opt for organic dark chocolate containing 70% cocoa solids or above. Dark chocolate tends be lower in sugar, free from dairy and contains higher levels of the beneficial antioxidants.

Chocolate can also help elevate energy levels due to theobromine (a stimulant found in energy drinks) and caffeine which can help give you an afternoon energy boost. Again, it’s important to choose dark chocolate – if it contains too much sugar your energy boost will soon be followed by a slump.

Did you know chocolate could also improve your heart health? Research shows that consuming dark chocolate daily can help reduce blood pressure and improve blood vessel function. So instead of reaching for the biscuit tin, opt for a few squares of dark chocolate instead and enjoy its benefits without the guilt.

And on a final note, the oldest confirmed human being, Jeanne Louise Calment (122 years and 164 days) put her good health down to regular chocolate consumption – she claimed to have eaten nearly one kilogram per week!

So this Easter, indulge wisely – I’ll be choosing a tasty organic dark chocolate egg from Green & Blacks for my treat.

Happy Easter everyone!