Day dreamers relax. It seems that we can let our minds run free – it’s actually a useful part of the mental process. ‘Mind wandering’ in various contexts is the subject of several new papers this autumn including [...]
The giveaway! Gower Cottage Brownies – and why they’re healthy
It doesn’t make you fat, it reduces your blood pressure, and you are a third less likely to have heart disease. If that wasn’t enough good news about chocolate – here’s the best bit: thanks to Kate at Gower Cottage Brownies, one Under the Scope reader will win a box of arguably the most famous brownies in Britain – certainly the most delicious!
Prevous studies have been just as interesting. At the University of Adelaide in Australia, a meta-analysis looked at evidence on the effect of flavanol-rich cocoa products on blood pressure in hypertensive and normotensive individuals. They concluded that dark chocolate is superior to placebo in reducing systolic hypertension or diastolic prehypertension. Flavanol-rich chocolate did not significantly reduce mean blood pressure below 140 mmHg systolic or 80 mmHg diastolic.
Putting the (chocolate) icing ion the cake (or brownie), a University of Cambridge study published online in the British Medical Journal says high levels of chocolate consumption might be associated with a one third reduction in the risk of developing heart disease. The findings presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Paris confirm results of existing studies that generally agree on a potential beneficial link between chocolate consumption and heart health. The researchers analysed several studies to reach their conclusions – these studies did not differentiate between dark or milk chocolate and included consumption of chocolate bars, drinks, biscuits and desserts. And possibly brownies.
The authors say the findings need to be interpreted with caution, in particular because commercially available chocolate is very calorific (around 500 calories for every 100 grams) and eating too much of it could lead to weight gain, risk of diabetes and heart disease. However, they conclude that given the health benefits of eating chocolate, initiatives to reduce the current fat and sugar content in most chocolate products should be explored.
The Gower Cottage Brownies giveaway!
We have one box to give away. For your chance of winning a a delicious box of 12 Gower Cottage Brownies (worth £15.99), just tweet a link to this page and follow @underthescopeUK. One follower will be picked at random next Wednesday.
Oh, and let us know your views on chocolate as a health food below!
Congratulations to the winner: @Donna_Marie82