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Chocolate and It’s Health Benefits

Theobroma cacao, chocolate’s Latin name for chocolate, means ‘Food of the Gods’ for a reason. In honor of Chocolate Week (12-18 October), here is some  trivia about one of the most popular super foods ever.

A new study suggests that eating certain varieties of chocolate can help you stay thin (I wish I had known this earlier!). Researchers at the University of California – San Diego found that people who frequently eat dark chocolate have lower body mass indexes than people who don’t. Further evidence indicates that chocolate can also ward off strokes, heart attacks, and diabetes.

Besides taste, here are some more of the most important benefits of chocolate consumption…).

  • One of chocolate’s most alluring effects of is its ability to improve in mood. Your mood matters even more when you’re stressed. Luckily, eating dark chocolate can help you cope even in high-pressure situations.
  • Other studies show that eating chocolate prevents blood clots, which in turn reduces the risk of heart attacks. The studies show that blood platelets clump together more slowly in chocolate-eaters.
  • Dark chocolate fills you up. Because it’s rich in fiber, dark chocolate can actually help keep you full – so you are satisfied with less.
  • Chocolate helps with maths. That boost of blood flow to the brain created by cocoa’s flavanols seems to make people feel more awake and alert. A study by British psychologists found that flavanols (a class of flavonoids, found in chocolate) helped people with mental maths tasks.

Healthy eating tips

  • Buying chocolate? Try to stick to dark varieties.
  • Use cocoa when baking.
  • Keep portion size small – try to limit your chocolate consumption to no more than 30 grams per day.
  • Always remember: quality over quantity.
  • If you can’t resist, don’t keep large amounts of chocolate at home.

My top three ways to celebrate National Chocolate Week in London

  1. Go to The Chocolate Show at Olympia National Hall from 16-18 October.
  2. Try a chocolate afternoon tea. Until the end of October,Harvey Nichols is serving up a special chocolate afternoon tea created by Paul a. Young (starting from £20) is  offering an afternoon tea at Hotel Chocolat in Borough Market (£40 for two people), while The Savoy has launched The Temptation Wheel, which pairs gourmet chocolates, desserts and cocktails. Meanwhile, Lancaster London will be serving a Divine Chocolate Afternoon Tea all week in support of the Fairtrade chocolatier.
  3.  Browse a chocolate market  Duke of York Square’s Chocolate Market in Chelsea hosts top chocolatiers including Lavolio, Prestat, Doisy and Dam, Nom Nom and Basil & Hope. The market runs from 10-4pm on 17 October.

Feeling creative? Why not use our Rose or Red Chilli Spice Drops® to make your own special chocolate truffles? Click here for the recipe.

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