FACT 1: C'MON, GET HAPPY!
Chocolate has a positive effect on brain chemistry and is known to improve one's mood. Scientific research tells us that eating chocolate triggers the release of endorphins, natural opiates in the brain known to reduce pain and enhance one's mood and sense of pleasure.
So eating chocolate truly is one of life's pleasures. No wonder then that more women reportedly
prefer chocolate to sex!FACT 2: GOOD HEALTH IN CHOCOLATE
Chocolate does have nutritional value containing a range of nutrients necessary for good health. A 50gm block of milk chocolate provides:0.65 mg zinc (5% recommended dietary intake)
0.75 mg iron (10% RDI for men, 5% for women)
125 mg calcium (15% RDI)
0.3 mg riboflavin (17% RDI)
28 mg magnesium (8% RDI)
1.2 mg niacin (6% RDI)
If you're looking to increase your calcium intake, consider adding milk chocolate to your diet. Milk chocolate contains up to five times more calcium than dark chocolate because of the milk content.
FACT 3: TAKE HEART - EAT CHOCOLATE!
In recent times scientific evidence has been uncovered that proves there is definitely a place for chocolate in our day-to-day diet.
Importantly, no link between chocolate and coronary heart disease has been found. In fact, some experts feel that chocolate may in some cases help prevent heart disease.
We already know that chocolate has no effect on blood cholesterol levels.
FACT 4: EATING CHOCOLATE DOESN'T MAKE YOU FAT
One of the biggest myths surrounding chocolate is that eating it makes you fat. WRONG!
The truth is no single food can be called "fattening", it is the amount consumed that will determine whether it contributes to body fat.
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating from the Commonwealth Dept of Health (1998) states that "most people can eat small amounts of extra foods as part of a healthy diet," indicating that chocolate has its place in healthy eating.
FACT 5: CHOCOLATE - IDEAL FOR THOSE ON THE GO!
Chocolate contains carbohydrates and is ideal as a high-energy snack food, especially for those participating in outdoors activities such as hiking, cycling and rock climbing.
It is often recommended as a high-performance snack for active sportsmen and women.
Chocolate is believed to stimulate the release of endorphins in the body, natural chemicals that help block pain and generate feelings of euphoria.
No single food can be called fattening; it is the amount consumed that contributes to body fat. Remember that food is only half the equation; exercise and activity are also crucial to controlling body fat.
FACT 6: EAT CHOCOLATE FOR BETTER HEALTH
It sounds too good to be true! For better health drink wine and eat chocolate? Yes and here's why.
Cocoa, the base component of chocolate, contains significant amounts of antioxidants similar to those found in red wine. Research recently conducted in the USA indicates that 40g of milk chocolate contains as many antioxidants as a glass of red wine. These antioxidants are known to reduce the risk of heart disease by preventing the build up of fatty deposits in coronary arteries.
We also know that antioxidants can help the body resist common degenerative ageing diseases such as cancer.
FACT 7: CHOCOLATE IS A "ZIT FREE" ZONE
It is a cliché to attribute poor skin conditions to diet. Pimples are commonly linked to poor diet, with chocolate often taking a share of the blame. What is known is that the underlying cause of common acne (pimples) is hormones, not food.
The body's sebaceous glands secrete "sebum", an oily substance that flows naturally to the surface of the skin. Should this flow be blocked, the sebum accumulates to form a pimple.
This is not a new discovery. Research some 30 years ago confirmed that eating chocolate had nothing to do with the appearance of pimples.
FACT 8: AND DON'T FORGET...
The key, of course, is to eat chocolate in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
Oh, and don't forget to exercise regularly!
This article is brought to you by leading Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Glenn Cardwell BSc, Grad Dip Diet, Grad Dip App Sc, APD.
For more information on the benefits of eating chocolate, visit http://www.ilovechocolate.com.au