Enjoy reading our 12 Tips͛ of Christmas and throw your guilt away!

Most of us have our favourite moments of chocolate, the crunch of a choc-top at the cinema, sipping a mug of hot chocolate on a cold winters night in front of a roaring fire, little stress free mid-afternoon treats at work, the childhood thrill of an Easter hunt, receiving a box of delicious chocolates from your sweetheart on Valentine’s day. The rich creamy taste as it slowly melts away in your mouth stirs up emotions of happiness and brings a little comfort into our life.

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Tip 1 Absolutely Organic! Organic chocolate is made without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides and other chemicals. Instead it is made by smaller farms and with delicious cacao. There are so many affordable good quality organic chocolates to choose from. Whether you have a penchant for smooth and creamy milk or the bitter sweetness of the dark.
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Tip 2 Check the ingredient list – if cocoa butter is the first ingredient on the list then you are onto a good thing. A high percentage of cocoa (solids and butter) is bursting with antioxidants. Dark chocolate contains the highest percentage even higher than wine, berries, and tea.

Starting to feel a little less guilty? Read on…..
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Tip 3 The antioxidants found in chocolate (cocoa polyphenols) have been proven to have a positive impact on cardiovascular health.
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Tip 4 Chocolate also contains various other compounds such as flavonoids and Gallic acid also shown to reduce the cholesterol and inhibit the oxidation of the LDL-(bad) cholesterol.

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Tip 5 Chocolate improves blood flow by dilating the blood vessels which may have a positive effect on lowering blood pressure.
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Tip 6 Chocolate improves brain power thanks to cocoa being a rich source of natural neuroprotective compounds. No more 3pm afternoon slumps.
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Tip 7 Chocolate’s mood-boosting potential increasing endorphins. This one doesn’t surprise us, who doesn’t feel good when eating chocolate?
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Tip 8 Chocolate is a good source of essential minerals; including iron, calcium and magnesium. In fact, one tablespoon of cacao powder in your morning smoothie = 30% of your daily magnesium needs.

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Tip 9 Eating a small amount of good quality organic chocolate (with 65% or more cacao) may actually help relieve cramps associated with PMS – this is why we naturally crave chocolate at this time of the month.
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Tip 10 The flavonols in dark chocolate can protect the skin against sun damage (though you’d probably better still slap on some sun cream).
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Tip 11 Look for fair trade chocolate – these growers are supported by Fair Trade agreements and educated on the finer points of cocoa bean production. Fair Trade practices ensure that the farmers receive a fair price for their crops and are supported in developing sustainable businesses. You are doing your bit for equality when you eat chocolate.
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Tip 12 Buying organic chocolate ensures that your chocolate cravings are better for the planet too by minimising the impact of agricultural chemicals on the fragile ecosystems of the rainforests where cacao trees grow best

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PS Better be good in 2019 !