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Love and luxury: the pleasures of dark chocolate

Jo Spencer - Tuesday, February 09, 2016


At the Cranleigh Boutique, we all love chocolate! It’s one of life’s most enjoyable pleasures (taken in moderation of course!) and is often associated with luxury and indulgence. Whilst it's not something that should be consumed in vast quantities, recent research has indicated that there are indeed, health benefits linked to dark chocolate in particular! Some have even gone as far as to attributing its cocoa qualities to lowering blood pressure, easing stress and preventing cancer. Whilst we’re not suggesting dark chocolate does any of the above, what we do know, is that it’s one of life’s undeniable pleasures!


Is dark chocolate a ‘superfood’?

If you buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it is actually quite nutritious. It contains a good amount of soluble fiber and is packed with minerals. It also has plenty of iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. One study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate contained more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than other fruits they tested, which included blueberries and acai berries!

Dark chocolate and the sun…

Did you know that the bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin? The flavonols can protect against sun-induced damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration, so if you’re planning a holiday on the beach this summer, why not consider loading up on dark chocolate in the prior weeks and months to your vacation?

Dark chocolate and the little grey cells…

It really does just keep getting better! Reports have also shown that dark chocolate may improve the function of the brain. One study of healthy volunteers showed that five days of consuming high-flavanol cocoa improved blood flow to the brain. Cocoa may also dramatically improve cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. Cocoa also contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine, which may be a key reason it can improve brain function in the short term.

Our love affair with chocolate…

We all adore chocolate, which is why we choose to include handmade luxury chocolates in so many of our packages at the Cranleigh Boutique - but it’s easy to over indulge! Taken in moderation, we have learned that it not only tastes amazing, but can actually benefit health! The type of chocolate eaten is important however. Products containing more than 70% cocoa will provide the most benefits. So, going forward, you will be able to enjoy it, guilt free!

 

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