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Can chocolate be healthy?

Chocolate is often splashed across the media for its reported health benefits, and if you love chocolate (and who doesn’t?) then this is the kind of news that helps us justify our regular fix of the sweet stuff.

But is it really good for us?

Well according to a recent review evaluating a whole swath of studies it may well be. The results showed, although modest, that it may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

Chocolate contains flavonoids, which are known to have antioxidant properties, as well as having a positive effect on cardiovascular health and inflammation, as well as containing valuable minerals such as magnesium and potassium.  With such seemingly positive effects, you may be hoping you could include it as one of your five a day!

However the studies are referring to chocolate in its natural state, before it’s been formulated to turn into the bar probably packed full of sugar that tempts you from the supermarket shelves.

To get the most benefit from your daily indulgence look for a higher percentage of cocoa, 70% or more is ideal, as these will contain far less sugar So go ahead and enjoy a mouthful of good strong delicious plain chocolate – your conscience is clear!

References

Veronese N et al. 2018. Is chocolate consumption associated with health outcomes? An umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Clinical Nutrition. <online>: Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261561418302048