For most people, Easter means one thing above all: chocolate eggs.
While too much chocolate isn’t good for anyone, experts have discovered some surprising health benefits in your favorite Easter treat.
Ryan James, Health and Wellbeing Advisor at vitality said there might actually be some health benefits to stocking up on.
He explained that people are often surprised to know that a daily serving of chocolate is actually good for them.
The expert said it all has to do with the antioxidants found in chocolate.
Before you go get milk chocolate for an afternoon, Ryan said that’s only for the dark variety.
Ryan said the secret health benefits of chocolate are:
- heart health
- disease prevention
- mood booster
- healthy gut
He explained: “That’s because cocoa beans contain flavanols, an antioxidant plant compound thought to support heart health and possibly even prevent cancer, in high enough doses.
“Another great thing about eating high cacao chocolate is that it can actually make you feel happier.
“A recent study found that healthy adults who consumed 10g of 85% dark chocolate three times a day saw an improvement in mood thanks to cocoa’s prebiotic effects, which promoted the growth of ‘good’ gut bacteria.
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“Dark chocolate also promotes the release of feel-good chemicals like serotonin and endorphins, which create pleasurable feelings and positively improve mood,” he said.
Ryan said when it comes to enjoying this Easter, the key is to keep things balanced.
He said: “If you’re blown away by chocolate, try portioning it out and making it last longer, or use the chocolate to mix with baking to balance it out.
“You don’t have to make the healthiest choice, but a slightly better option might be to have fruit and nuts with a bit of chocolate chips.
“As always, try to eat a balanced diet and maintain your activity level.”
While we all want to have a happy Easter, we also don’t want our egg consumption to affect other parts of our lives.
Ryan said that chocolate is often consumed in the evenings in front of the television.
However, he warned that this could affect the quality of your sleep – so you should avoid eating your eggs before bed.
He added, “Adenosine is a molecule that promotes fatigue, but caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in our brain, preventing adenosine from binding to those receptors and preventing you from feeling tired.”
However, if you’re in the mood for sweet treats in the evening, Ryan recommends splurging on a few pieces of dark chocolate after dinner.
“Finding new ways of already adding it to your diet can also help people who aren’t as keen on the taste.
“High cacao dark chocolate is inherently bitter, especially when compared to its sweet milk and white counterparts.
“Even if it tastes bitter at first, you’ll find that your taste buds will get used to it,” he added.
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https://www.thesun.ie/health/8660103/secret-health-benefits-eating-easter-eggs/ The 4 Secret Health Benefits of Eating Easter Eggs Revealed