It’s unlikely that you need another excuse to eat more chocolate, but a recent report by the Daily Mail states that among the many other benefits of eating dark chocolate, it can also help you to get a good night’s sleep. Dark chocolate is richer in nutrients than milk or white chocolate, and is particularly high in magnesium – which researchers at Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities believe is essential for keeping your body clock running on time.
Magnesium is thought to influence your daily cycles of sleeping and waking, as well as your body’s release of hormones and temperature regulation – or circadian rhythms. This is a really important discovery, as stated by the Daily Mail, because it could help with the development of chronotherapy – a treatment that is scheduled according to certain times of day.
The research found that human cells see a rise and fall in magnesium levels throughout the daily cycle, and that this oscillation in levels is vital for sustaining the 24-hour clock in cells. Magnesium levels also have an impact on your body’s metabolism, affecting how quickly cells convert nutrients into energy.
Magnesium doesn’t just play a vital role in how your cells keep their form of time, but also supports almost every function and tissue in your body – including your immune system, heart health and ability to fight cancer.
Chocolate is thought to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease – by lowering your blood pressure and because of its anti-inflammatory properties – as well as to lower your risk of diabetes by increasing your insulin sensitivity. Meanwhile, the flavones found in cacao boost the blood flow to your brain, and increase your mental performance.