Finally the moment we have all been waiting for – National Chocolate Week has arrived! Whether it be dark, white or milky, we love chocolate! Whatever your favourite may be, this is the week to indulge yourself without worrying about the consequences!
Here at Butlin’s in Bognor Regis we certainly aren’t shy of having a little treat at the end of a busy day. The great thing about this week being that we don’t have to feel guilty at all! But why is it that we should feel guilty anyway, of course too much of anything is bad for you, but we have dug a little deeper into the science of chocolate to discover all may not be as it seems…
According to scientific studies…
Chocolate makes you live longer
Researchers at Harvard University in the U.S. studied 8,000 men for 65 years and found that those who ate modest amounts of chocolate up to three times a month, lived almost a year longer than those who didn’t eat any. They concluded that this is likely to be due to the fact that cocoa contains antioxidants called polyphenols, which prevent the oxidation of harmful cholesterol.
Chocolate is good for stress
This is thought to be because it contains valeric acid, which is a relaxant and tranquilliser. Also, the sugar in chocolate may reduce stress.
Chocolate makes you happy
There are a number of scientific reasons for this. The smell of chocolate has been found to slow down brain waves, making us feel calm. Most of the time our brains are dominated by beta waves – normal waking frequency. When our brain activity slows to alpha waves, we experience a pleasant feeling of calm but alert relaxation. Also, because most of us find eating chocolate so pleasurable, we release endorphins in the brain
Chocolate does not give you spots
Although many teenagers blame chocolate for their acne, there’s no scientific data to confirm this link. Scientists at Missouri University even gave spot-prone subjects chocolate to eat and observed their skin for the next week – with no effect.
Chocolate boosts your concentration
This can occur, for example, if you eat it mid-afternoon, when blood sugar levels get a bit low. Chocolate has a reasonably low glycaemic index (GI), which means it gives long-lasting energy because it doesn’t raise blood sugar too quickly.
Chocolate helps your digestion- especially milk!
This means it is good for those who are lactose-intolerant. Researchers at Rhode Island University have shown that cocoa stimulates activity of the enzyme lactase in the intestine. We need this to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk.
Chocolate is nutritious- rich in iron, magnesium and calcium- all of which are essential nutrients in our diet!
A 50g bar of plain chocolate contains 1.2mg of iron, and 45mg of magnesium. And milk chocolate is a reasonable source of calcium – a 50g bar contains 110mg.
So next time you are queuing at the checkout and get tempted by the rows of chocolate bars you can now feel comfortable topping up your basket knowing that a little bit of chocolate really does do good!
Whatever your reason behind a cheeky nibble, we understand and we won’t judge! Around resort we will definitely all be making the most of this week (not that we don’t the other 51 weeks of the year!)
So go on, treat your self!