We're not here to judge you on your chocolate consumption after an egg-and-bunny-filled Easter. You might actually be surprised to hear we love the stuff. And so does science.
In a recent study, researchers discovered that eating chocolate can help reduce your blood pressure by a massive two to three mmHg. This may not sound like much, but when you consider the raft of issues that come with high blood pressure - things like, heart disease, stroke and even dementia - every millimetre counts.
Our goal is just to help you stay mindful of the types of chocolate you eat. Because while it's undeniably delicious, most chocolate is full of sugar, fat and other ingredients that could have a negative impact on your health.
Here's our guide to indulging in the right kinds of cacao-fuelled sweets.
Keep it dark
There's considerable evidence to suggest that dark chocolate is good for almost every aspect of your health. It can improve brain function, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and even help protect your skin from the sun.
It's nothing short of a miracle food, and it's easy to see why when you look at the sheer number of goodies that are in it. Just a single 100g bar of dark chocolate contains 11g of fibre, 67 per cent of your Iron RDA and 58 per cent of your Magnesium RDA.
It's also a great source of zinc and selenium - two things that are absolutely vital for a healthy immune system. And it's a delicious alternative to the milk chocolate that your kids are probably particularly fond of. Just remember, as with most foods except leafy greens, moderation is key.
Harness the power of raw cacao and cocoa
If you're looking for an excuse to eat chocolate on the regular, we've found a healthy way to make dreams come true.
Over the last few years, raw cacao has unsurprisingly taken the health food world by storm. It contains 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries, is rich in minerals and is scientifically proven to boost your emotional wellbeing.
What's more, it's a great ingredient for literally thousands of recipes that aren't even sweet. Think, chocolate chilli, chocolate truffle tagliatelle and even cocoa-rubbed baby back ribs - all great choices for lunch, dinner and everything in between.
Give a carob a chance
We know that carob isn't everyone's first choice. It's probably not even your second, third or fourth. But when prepared well, it can actually be a tasty alternative to chocolate, and just so you know, carob contains an entire alphabet of important vitamins.
- Vitamin A for healthy skin
- Vitamin B1 to help convert your food into energy
- Vitamin B2 for healthy hair and muscles
- Vitamin B3 for a healthy nervous system
- Vitamin D for stronger teeth and bones
- Vitamin E to help keep diseases like Alzheimer's at bay.
It's also caffeine-free and great for regulating your digestive system - perfect for a healthy treat.