Rivalled only by Valentines Day, Easter is the best excuse to eat more chocolate with the sound of that bunny hopping down the path with a big basket of choccie eggs music to the ears of chocolate lovers everywhere.
It's also a little scary for the calorie conscious, diet watchers amongst us (me included), as it's so easy to indulge in this treat.
However it's not all bad news. Chocolate has wonderful beneficial properties from a nutrition standpoint. Powerful antioxidants can be found in chocolate – specifically, polyphenols. These abundant and essential nutrients can help reduce our ‘bad’ cholesterol, known as LDL, whilst increasing the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.
Eating dark chocolate has also been shown to significantly reduce blood pressure. And don’t forget the psychological effects. Eating chocolate releases calm, soothing, feel-good hormones.
Keep this in mind next time you peel back the foil on an Easter treat: it takes about 35 minutes of running or an hour of swimming to burn off a single chocolate egg.
Chocolate can be addictive, too, especially after a period of sustained intake, like Easter. It contains stimulants, caffeine and bromine, which provide the “lift” experienced by eaters.
Here are some tips to ensure your Easter is egg-cellent – while still practising moderation:
• Purchase only small quantities of chocolate - enough to last only a day or two - because typically the more you have on hand, the more you eat.
• Buy the best quality you can. A small amount of high-quality chocolate will satisfy you sooner than a large quantity made with inferior ingredients.
• Eat chocolate at room temperature: it’s the best way to get that velvety mouth feel.
• Consider giving a small, high-quality chocolate treat for Easter alongside a second, non-chocolate gift.
Disclaimer: This is not a paid post - simply sharing good eating tips to balance my food obsession.