All the best superheroes have a backstory revealing a conflict between good and evil, perhaps we enjoy the good things in life all the more for knowing they’re a bit naughty as well.
Chocolate is one such hero in disguise as – despite our nation’s love for it – we can never quite determine if chocolate is our friend or our biggest foe. On one hand, chocolate is our expert comforter providing a soothing effect where the commiserations of our friends and family fail to hit the mark. On the other, chocolate contains the perfect storm of high fat and high sugar content that, if consumed too regularly, contributes to our risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery diseases.
The same ambiguity around chocolate comes into play around our sleep too. With a reasonable caffeine content, chocolate could be seen as a stimulant that’s best avoided near to bedtime. However, on the flip side, the serotonin-boosting effects of chocolate that bring stress levels down can also mean it has a relaxing effect on some people. Caffeine or serotonin? Stimulant or relaxant? Friend or foe? It’s a cocoa-laden debate we’ll leave to the experts.
All we know is that, this week it’s Chocolate Week 12th – 18th October here in the U.K. and we might expect to see an extra visit or two from our hero in disguise – just perhaps not at bedtime!