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MONDAY MINDSET: Good news….Eating chocolate can help reduce stress, according to a study

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Publication date: April 30, 2018 Author: Gem Sofianos

Good news….Eating chocolate can help reduce stress

There is good news this Monday morning, new research has found that eating chocolate can reduce stress and improve memory.

New research from the Loma Linda University in Southern California, shows there might be health benefits to eating certain types of dark chocolate.

Findings from two studies show that consuming dark chocolate with higher levels of cacao, (above 70%), ‘has positive effects on stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory and immunity.’

‘For years, we have looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content — the more sugar, the happier we are,’ Dr Lee S. Berk, associate dean of research affairs at Loma Linda and lead researcher said, in a press release.

‘This is the first time that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time, and are encouraged by the findings.

‘These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects.’

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‘Can what you eat affect your mental health? And how can you eat for better mental health?’

Mental health writer Fiona Thomas has looked into whether what we eat effects our mental health and how we can eat to better our mental health.

‘I’ve been living with depression and anxiety for six years now, and every day I’m learning something new about what lifestyle changes I can make to minimise the chance of a relapse,’ she writes on

‘I know from personal experience that when I’m going through a depressive episode, I find it almost impossible to make healthy choices when it comes to food. I find myself reaching for convenience foods like toast or pizza because I feel tired and sluggish, but I often wonder if eating like this is actually making my low mood worse.’

She said her thoughts were confirmed when she read an article featuring Dr Asad Sadiq, a consultant psychiatrist at The LightHouse Clinic in Dubai, who said that poor diet is ‘both a cause and symptom of mental illness’.

As part of her research Thomas spoke to Nutritionist Amy Prior who said: ‘roughly 80% of serotonin (our ‘happy’ hormone) is made in our guts, which would suggest that any compromising of the gut can impair our body’s ability to make this vital hormone’

Thomas said Prior would advised: ‘Limit sugar, refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white pasta, and include a lot of anti-inflammatory foods such as a rainbow of different vegetables every day, as well as berries, which are high in antioxidants, will all help support a healthy gut.’

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Made in Chelsea stars support #shoutoutselfie campaign for Maternal Mental Health Matters week

Made in Chelsea stars Binky Felstead and her partner Josh Patterson are supporting Maternal mental Health Matters week, 30 April to 6 May, to get people talking about mental health during and after pregnancy.

According to the Press Association (PA) research shows that one in four women struggle with the mental health during pregnancy, while one in three struggle after birth.

As part of the campaign Felstead and her partner will share pictures of themselves ‘shouting out’ to raise awareness of mental health problems around pregnancy.

The news agency reports Felstead’s mother Jane is also supporting the campaign having ‘battled post-natal depression herself’

Jane told PA: ‘I suffered with post-natal depression and I really don’t want any other mums to go through what I went through.

‘Whilst I obviously can’t stop it happening to some, I hope that by sharing my story and supporting #ShoutieSelfie, it will help mums to get help quickly and not feel wrong, different, or ashamed.’

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