Stories about dark chocolate and its health benefits have been circulating for many years. Is it too good to be true though? Can one of the nation’s favourite sweet treats really be good for us?
We had a listen to Dr Michael Mosley’s latest podcast with the BBC to see if we could dig deeper and uncover the truth once and for all.
What the studies say
There have been a number of studies which have looked into the potential health benefits of dark chocolate over the years and the findings have been particularly encouraging! Just two squares a day, three times a week have been found to have benefits on the heart, the brain and surprisingly, even our metabolism!
Recent studies found that just 20 grams of dark chocolate a day can help to reduce blood pressure by a small but significant amount and benefits to our memory, the ability to learn and speed of recall have been witnessed.
There’s good news for those who prefer to drink their sweet treats too, as high-flavonoid cocoa drinks have been seen to improve blood pressure, insulin resistance and cognition!
All in moderation though! It’s important to remember that these benefits are seen when consumed in small quantities – think a couple squares rather than a giant bar in one sitting.
So, what are flavonoids?
Cocoa contains chemical compounds called flavonoids and scientists think it’s these compounds which are providing the health benefits. The bitter seeds of cacao trees are in fact one of the richest known sources of flavonoids in the world.
Flavonoids are also found in the likes of strawberries, blueberries, apples and many other plant foods. It therefore makes sense that their presence in dark chocolate is providing benefits such as improved cognition, memory and cardio-metabolic health.
The higher the cocoa content, the bigger the advantages. So make sure you look out for the really dark variety such as our dark chocolate tangerine (73%). If you really want to go all out, our midnight bar is 85% organic Peruvian cacao. It’s our darkest dark chocolate but with lingering fruity notes, it’s as sweet and delicious as your usual milk chocolate.
What about other types of chocolate?
When we hear about the benefits of chocolate, it’s always the dark variety being discussed. That’s because, although very tasty, white chocolate doesn’t contain any cocoa particles so it doesn’t offer any of the benefits discussed and although milk chocolate does contain some cocoa it’s not enough to see the same benefits as unprocessed dark chocolate.
So, if you’re looking to combine health benefits with taste, dark chocolate is for you! Discover our selection of chocolate gifting for the ultimate treat!