Cocoa Powder on spoon and Dark Chocolate background

Today, 7th July 2014, is officially Chocolate Day! So we’re celebrating the best of this delicious treat by taking a quick look at all it has to offer us as food, for beauty and for our health.

1. As Food and Drink

Yes, chocolate is a delicious, much-loved treat on its own, but there’s plenty of inspired variations to sample. Have you tried chocolate wine? MarRon Liqueurs, based in Waddingham, near Gainsborough create a ‘Taste of Chocolate in Wine’ range, which uses extracts of cocoa beans to flavour red, white and rosé wine. Fiona Sciolti, creator of Sciolti Botanical Chocolates, uses unique flavours inspired by the countryside for her chocolates, such as Lavender and Vanilla, Strawberry and Balsamic Vinegar, Rose and Violet.

2. For Your Skin

Cocoa Butter is used in a lot of beauty products because it is non-greasy, has incredible moisturising abilities and smells good enough to eat! But unsweetened, rich dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), when included in a face mask or eaten, can help to rejuvinate and tone your skin too. Organic, dark chocolate contains rich anti-oxidants, or flavinoids, which can help protect against signs of ageing and sun damage.

3. For Your Health

As well as dark chocolate benefiting the skin, it’s range of powerful antioxidants can provide many benefits for your overall health. Research has found that just a square of dark chocolate once a day can reduce the risk of heart failure and lower blood pressure, and dark chocolates containing at least 70% cocoa can also curb cravings and reduce stress levels. Just be sure that any chocolate is eaten in moderation, as it is still high in calories (unfortunately…)