Chocolate: more than just a Valentine gift

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chocolate, Antioxidant

Every year in the run up to Valentine's Day consumers are bombarded
with adverts urging them to buy chocolates for their loved ones.
But this year one message is slightly different - it says buy
chocolate because they are good for you.

Every year in the run up to Valentine's Day consumers are bombarded with adverts urging them to buy chocolates for their loved ones. But this year one message is slightly different - it says buy chocolate because they are good for you.

The International Copper Association has produced a list of the nutritional benefits of buying chocolate as a Valentine's gift.

Topping the list, not surprisingly, is the fact that chocolate is a major source of copper, whose antioxidant properties can help combat dangerous free radicals. Copper also helps in collagen formation needed for supple skin, aids bone growth and strength and facilitates the transportation of iron, the association said.

Chocolate also contains other antioxidants, catechins, which are thought to help fight heart disease and possibly cancer. The association said that dark chocolate could contain up to four times the amount of catechins found in green tea.

Pleasure is a great part of eating chocolate, but the association says that this is more than just a reaction to the sweet taste. "Chocolate stimulates the secretion of endorphins producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the runner's high a jogger feels after running. It also contains serotonin, a chemical found in the brain, which can act as an anti-depressant."

The association concluded that chocolate can also help lactose intolerant consumers digest milk more easily, and help fight fatigue because of its relatively high caffeine content.

Of course the association has been selective in what it has chosen to highlight regarding chocolate, and there are any number of counter arguments as to why chocolate could be considered the worst thing to buy someone as a gift (such as its sugar and fat content, for example).

Whether any of this will influence anyone this Valentine's Day remains to be seen, but the likelihood is that chocolates will still be at the top of many people's lists of popular gifts.

Related topics: Suppliers

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