If you are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Easter Bunny this weekend, but are already feeling pangs of guilt at the thought of over indulging then I have some good news for you. I came across an article by Dr Mark Burhenne who writes, based on studies in Japan, England and the U.S., that chocolate is actually good for your mouth. A dentist recommending chocolate? Yes, that’s right, you read that correctly.
Turns out that chocolate is effective at fighting cavities, plaque and tooth decay in the mouth. That is to say – the right kind of chocolate when consumed in moderation – put down the milk chocolate bunny and the bowl of sugar coated eggs (you know the ones I mean) for a second…
It’s got to be dark chocolate, at least 85% cocoa. Dark chocolate, cocoa nibs or raw chocolate contain compounds, called Cocoa Bean Husk extract (CBH), which is thought to be more effective at fighting decay than fluoride.
“Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth turn sugar into acids, which eat away at the tooth’s surface and cause cavities. Compounds in the cocoa bean husk have an anti-bacterial effect and also fight against plaque. This makes chocolate less harmful than many other sweet foods your dentist might warn you against because the antibacterial agents in cocoa beans offset its high sugar levels.”
Also, this wonder compound helps harden tooth enamel, making dark chocolate lovers less susceptible to tooth decay (there really is an Easter bunny!!). Until this compound is approved for use in our toothpastes and mouthwashes the best way of to take advantage is by eating 85-100g (less than 6-8g of sugar per serving) of dark chocolate a day.
And if you want to really sink into the smug zone with your dark chocolate egg this Easter remember the other benefits of this superfood:
- The antioxidants in dark chocolate can help prevent heart disease
- It can make you happy (well we knew that already)! Those lovely endorphins will bring a big smile to your face.
- It can help protect and increase blood flow to your skin, and improve skin’s hydration and complexion.
So if you ever needed an excuse to eat chocolate there it is, but remember to make sure it’s the good stuff, and all in moderation.