Chocolate eggs – the good and the bad
I noticed in Bristol there is an exhibition which features an original Crème egg 50 years old! Probably best not to eat this one but I wonder just how many of us have indulged in more chocolate than usual in the last couple of weeks or so. Apparently, Easter accounts for around 10 per cent of the UK chocolate spending for the year. Whilst most of this is made from milk chocolate, it is the dark that comes with the health benefits. The key ingredient cacao contains antioxidants called flavonoids that help protect cells from cancer-causing free radicals.
Scientists in Toronto discovered that these antioxidants cut the risk of stroke by more than a fifth and also that stroke patients were 50 per cent less likely to die if they ate chocolate regularly. A study at a University Hospital in Cologne looked at the effect of eating white or dark chocolate on blood pressure. The dark chocolate showed a drop in systolic blood pressure.
Other benefits of eating dark chocolate are; it may reduce cholesterol levels, improves mood and helps with depression, increases blood flow to the skin, improving complexion, improves memory, soothes coughs and reduces the risk of dementia. A study in the British Medical Journal revealed that dark chocolate may help you live longer.
By the way one crème egg comes with around 180 calories – a walk of 1.5miles would burn this one off. So, everything in moderation – there is no harm in eating a bit of chocolate and it may even be good for you.