The Sandrock - Real Ale Pub & Restaurant, Farnham

Contact Us Guest Book Email List Help!
You are here: Food | Healthy Eating at The Sandrock

Healthy Eating at The Sandrock

Menu Picture
Gado Gado with Red Peppers, Eggs, Brocolli, Carrots, Red Cabbage, Green Beans, Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus

Eating healthily need not mean a compromise on the taste or variety of dishes you can enjoy and it should not mean that you cannot eat out with friends and enjoy yourself. At The Sandrock we have offered our Healthy Options menu for some time now and we are continually developing and improving this with the help of your feedback on dishes.

Our chef, Carol, gained an accreditation in Nutrition and Special Diets in 2009 and has a strong interest in developing new dishes incorporating ingredients that provide a huge range of health benefits. Eating healthily is not all about the calories, the fats and the sugars. Even dishes that you might consider to be unhealthy contain a wealth of Superfood ingredients and because we do not serve processed or bought in ready- meals you can treat yourself in more ways than one.

We also know that many people have food intolerances and we pride ourselves in being able to cater for people with all sorts of requirements from dairy or gluten free to specific allergies. If you have such a requirement then please call us ahead of coming to eat to discuss what we can offer you.

Here is a list of some ingredients and foods that are featured on our menu, shown in brackets, with some interesting nutritional facts about them:

Pine nuts

(Sandrock Superfood Salad)

Pine nuts are nature's only source of pinoleic acid, which stimulates hormones and helps diminish your appetite. Pine nuts have the highest concentration of oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat that aids the liver in eliminating harmful triglycerides from the body and helping to protect the heart. Pine nuts are packed with 3mg of iron per one ounce serving. Iron is a key component of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying pigment in blood that supplies energy. They are also rich in magnesium which helps alleviate muscle cramps, tension and fatigue.

Asparagus

(Gammon Ham Salad, Asparagus and Caesar starter, Asparagus soup)

Asparagus is rich in potassium which is known for reducing body fat. It also contains a lot of fibre which cleanses the digestive system. It has virtually no natural sodium so does not cause bloating during PMS, has no fat or cholesterol, and is low in calories. It has excellent detoxifying properties. As well as potassium it has vitamin A and folate. It is also very high in glutathione, an amino acid compound with potent antioxidant properties and anti-ageing components. Glutathione (GSH) is an antioxidant that protects cells from toxins such as free radicals. Asparagus is also considered a psycho-physiological aphrodisiac because of its shape. It is said to trigger the mind to have a physiological response. The French word for asparagus is asperge, a slang word for penis. Asparagus in high in folate which is now known to be an important protection against cancer. Folate is found naturally in leafy green vegetables, and citrus fruits. While folic acid is said to be the same as folate, folic acid is the supplemental form. It is suggested that you can get more health benefits from eating healthy whole foods than supplemental forms.

Asparagus is also said to help reduce pain and inflammation due to the folate. Asparagus has vitamin K which studies have shown can help prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Vitamin K aids in bone formation and repair. It is also necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is the protein in bone tissue on which calcium crystallizes. Asparagus has been listed as the number one source of vitamin K. The folate in asparagus has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent birth defects. Getting enough folate (doctors often recommend the folic acid supplement) is especially important for women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Having a folate deficiency has been correlated with increased risk of Spina Bifida (a spinal cord birth defect) and also anencephaly (a neural tube defect). Folate helps to regulate embryonic and fetal nerve cell formation and may also help to prevent premature births. Additionally, studies have shown that the nutritional benefits of asparagus can help prevent and treat urinary tract infections and kidney stones. Overall, asparagus is rich in potassium, vitamin A, folate, glutathione, and vitamin K. It is high in fibre, has no sodium, is low in calories and has no cholesterol or fat.

Menu Picture
Seabass Fillet with Mashed Potato, Asparagus and Red Pepper Sauce

Goji Berries

(Superfood salad)

Goji is a sweet-tasting, dark-red coloured berry. This fruit has extraordinary healing properties and is considered the world's most nutrient rich food. For over 2,000 years Goji has proven to improve many health conditions and cure ailments. Goji is said to contain more vitamin C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots, and more iron than steak. It is a common practice in Chinese medicine to prescribe it to treat liver, kidney, or eye diseases, along with other herbal medicine. Many Chinese people consume goji berries in their day-to-day lives because they believe that red coloured berry can keep them healthy, young, and energetic. Goji is known as the "longevity fruit." Its unique master molecule polysaccharides and powerful antioxidants fight against free radicals that cause damage to the body. It helps to eliminate fatigue, especially when recovering from illness. It also stimulates the secretion by the pituitary gland of human growth hormone (HGH), the youth hormone. HGH helps with the reduction of body fat, better sleep, improved memory, accelerated healing, restored libido and a more youthful appearance.

Menu Picture
Super Food Salad

Avocados

(Superfood salad)

Avocados contain folate, potassium, monosaturated fats and are very high in fibre. The monosaturated fats in avocados contain oleic acid. This has been found to improve fat levels in the body and help control diabetes. By using avocados as their primary source of fat in the diet, diabetes sufferers can lower their triglycerides by up to 20%. The monosaturated fats in avocados are also good for lowering cholestoreol. A low fat diet containing avocados has been shown to both lower levels of dangerous low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and raise the level of healthy high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The high fibre in avocados also is known to help prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, and certain types of cancer, particularly colon and prostate cancer. Avocados also contain 30% more potassium than a banana. Potassium is beneficial to the body by lowering the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and cancer. In addition, avocados are the perfect food for pregnant women. The folate in one avocado per day provides almost 30% of the recommended daily dosage and helps prevent life threatening birth defects of the spine and brain. Avocados also contain the oxidant lutein, which can protect against cataracts. They are also easily digested, making them ideal for people that have problems digesting fatty foods.

Menu Picture
Seafood Noodles with King Prawns and Mussels (Knife and Fork Buffet Menu)

Prawns

(Giant Prawn Cocktail, King Prawn Pitta, Hot and Sour Soup, Thai Salmon and Prawn Fishcakes)

Prawns are an excellent source of protein and a great way to add iron, zinc and vitamin E to your regimen. As a bonus, prawns have very little fat, virtually no saturated fat and, like all seafood, they are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, the polyunsaturated fats that have a range of health benefits (see salmon below). These valuable fats lower triglyceride levels and have shown benefits for heart health.

Menu Picture
Giant Prawn Cocktail

Lettuce

(Salad Accompaniments)

Lettuce is a good source of chlorophyll and vitamin K. Iceberg lettuce provides a good source of choline. Romaine lettuce is the most nutrient rich of all the lettuce varieties and is an excellent source of vitamins A, B1, B2, and C, folic acid, manganese and chromium. Since lettuce is very low in calories, it is an effective diet food.

Menu Picture
Wholetail Scampi and Chips with Salad and Tartar Sauce

Cabbage

(Vegetable Accompaniments)

All types of cabbage contain phytonutrients. These work to protect the body from free radicals that can damage the cell membranes. Phytonutrients also signal our genes to increase production of enzymes involved in detoxification. Cabbage may lower the incidence of cancer, especially in the lung, stomach, colon and prostate. It is also a muscle builder (muscle burns calories at a much higher rate than other cells), blood cleanser and eye strengthener. The juice of fresh raw cabbage has been proven to heal stomach ulcers. Cabbage is rich in iron and sulphur and its juice is effective in treating fungus infection (due to the sulphur content). Cabbage can also lower serum cholesterol. It contains Sulforaphane, a substance that can increase the production of antioxidant and detoxification enzymes. Sulforaphane works by stimulating the production of glutathione, the body's most important internally produced antioxidant which plays a role in liver detoxification. Red Cabbage has more phytonutrients than the green cabbage. The vitamin c content of red cabbage is 6-8 times higher than that of the green cabbage. Red cabbage contains anthocyanin (red pigment/colour) which is an antioxidant that can help protect brain cells, thus can help prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Menu Picture
Beef Wellington with Vegetables and New Potatoes

Salmon

(Salmon and Prawn Fishcakes, Roasted Salmon Fillet, Smoked Salmon Starter, Salmon Nicoise salad, Smoked Salmon Sandwich)

The health benefits of eating salmon include helping muscles, tissues, enzymes and hormones. Proteins or amino acids are essential components of our cells, tissues, enzymes, hormones and every other body part. The proteins from salmon (and most other fishes) are easy digestible and easily absorbed into the body. They do not have any adverse side effects and do not contain carcinogenic compounds, like other meats do. Salmon is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial fat, which plays a vital role in keeping you healthy. Salmon is also rich in some of the very essential minerals like iron, calcium, selenium and phosphorus and vitamins like A, B and D. Selenium, which is necessary for building tissues, hair and nails is best obtained from animal proteins and in particular, salmon. While the Omega-3 Fatty Acids help reduce cholesterol, maintain flexibility of arteries and veins and strengthen cardiac muscles, the essential amino acids repair damage to the cardio-vascular tissues. They also help reduce blood pressure, as they lower your cholesterol level and prevent hardening of the walls of arteries and veins, thereby considerably reducing the chances of heart attack.

The Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin-D and selenium together, help increase the influence of insulin, thereby facilitating absorption of sugar and consequent lowering of blood sugar level. Omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids help prevent macular degeneration (Macular degeneration is a painless eye condition that leads to the gradual loss of your central vision), dryness, loss of vision and fatigue of eyes. It is a proven fact that people who eat fish regularly have better vision, for a more prolonged period, than those who do not. The Omega-3 fatty acids also increase efficiency of the brain, improving memory and keeping you wide awake during long working hours. In company with the amino acids, vitamin A & D and selenium, these fatty acids protect the nervous system from the damage caused by ageing, act as an anti-depressant, relax the brain and are also helpful in treating Alzeimers and Parkinsons disease. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation of the arteries and digestive system, reduce the chances of cancer of the colon, prostate or kidneys, improve skin texture, add shine to eyes, skin, hair and nails.

Menu Picture
Salmon Nicoise Salad

Beetroot

(Salmon Fillet with Beetroot Mash, Falafel Burger with Beetroot Crème Fraiche)

Beets are not only low in calories but are also packed full of nutrients. They contain high levels of carotenoids and flavenoids. These are anti-oxidants that help reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, protecting our artery walls and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Beetroot is one of the richest sources of folic acid, which helps to protect unborn babies from spina bifida, and is also thought to help lower homocysteine levels in the blood. Beetroot also contains the mineral silica, which helps the body to utilise calcium, so is therefore important for musculo-skeletal health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Many people drink beetroot juice for its cleansing and detoxifying properties.

Broccoli

(Vegetable Accompaniments, Superfood Salad)

If the other foods here are super foods then broccoli should be a mega-super food. Researchers are finding a wealth of healthy compounds in this vegetable, which include two powerful anti-cancer substances, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. Sulforaphane destroys any carcinogenic compounds that you have ingested and then it creates enzymes that eat up any carcinogens left over from that reaction. Sulforaphane also kills the bacteria Helicobacter pylori which causes stomach ulcers and greatly increases the risks of gastric cancers. Indole-3-carbinol helps your body to metabolise oestrogen, potentially protecting against breast cancer. Broccoli is also a good source of beta-carotene and potassium, which helps lower your risk of heart disease.

Menu Picture
Chicken and Bacon Pie with Mashed Potato and Vegetables

Garlic

(Garlic Mushrooms, Thai Beef Salad, Falafel Burger, also in marinades for Half Shoulder of Lamb, Cottage Pie Mince, Chicken Pie Meat and salad dressings)

Numerous clinical trials have shown garlic to be an excellent cancer fighter. Studies suggest that it has the ability to prevent development of cancers of the breast, colon, skin, prostate, stomach and oesophagus. Garlic also helps stimulate the immune system by encouraging the growth of natural killer cells, which directly attack cancer cells. It also has the ability to kill the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, a major cause of ulcers and stomach cancer. Garlic has also bee shown in recent studies to kill many of the antibiotic resistant strains of MRSA, the hospital super bug, and also to destroy the newer super-super bugs that are resistant against the most powerful antibiotics used against MRSA. A new study has also shown that eating raw garlic after heart surgery may help to limit the damage done to the heart, due to its strong anti-oxidant properties.

Menu Picture
Garlic Mushroom Starter with Ciabatta Bread and Salad

Ginger

(Thai Fishcakes, Hot and Sour Soup, Thai Beef Salad, Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale)

This root has long been thought to have medicinal properties and research is now confirming these suspicions. Ginger contains several antioxidant plant chemicals including gingerol and zingerone. In preliminary studies these antioxidants have been shown to fight cancer and heart disease. One study found that gingerol was as effective as aspirin at preventing blood clotting, making it a potential aid against heart disease (although it is not recommended for people who are already taking anti-coagulants). Ginger has effective antimicrobial effects on wounds, sores, allergies and asthma. It is also thought to fight inflammation, cleanse the colon, relive colds and nausea and stimulate circulation.

Menu Picture
Thai Beef Salad

Onions

(Salad Accompaniments, Cottage Pie, Chicken Pie, Superfood Salad, Nicoise Salad and many more)

Onions are thought to be the food most strongly associated with lower rates of lung cancer. The sulphur compounds and flavonoid quercetin are though to be responsible for the anti cancer properties of onions. Quercetin also appears to boost the immune system, promotes detoxification, and reduces inflammation. The consumption of onions and other alliums like leeks and garlic also appear to lower breast, oesophageal and stomach cancers.

Menu Picture
Cottage Pie

Soy

(Thai Beef Salad, Hot and Sour Soup)

Soy must be one of the most heavily investigated foods in terms of health benefits and most of the research has been around the prevention of cancer, particularly of the breast and prostate. It contains two phytoestrogens; genistein and daidzein, which are able to reduce the activity of the bodys own oestrogen, thus protecting the breast. Strong epidemiological evidence associates soy intake with low cancer rates although there is still some debate about whether everybody can receive its benefits.

Menu Picture
Suhsi with Caviar and Soy Sauce (Canape Buffet Menu)

Chickpeas

(Falafel Burger)

Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas provide an excellent source of molybdenum.They are a very good source of folic acid, fibre and manganese. They are also a good source of protein, as well as minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. As a good source of fibre, they can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels. This makes them a great food especially for diabetics and insulin-resistant individuals. When served with high quality grains, they are an extremely-low-fat, complete protein food. Chickpeas contain molybdenum which is a trace mineral that is needed for the body's mechanism to detoxify sulfites. Sulfites are a preservative commonly found in wine, luncheon meats, and fresh salad in most salad bars. Sulfite-sensitive individuals who are deficient in molybdenum may experience headaches, a racing heartbeat, or confusion.

Menu Picture
Falafel Burger

Miso

(Hot and Sour Soup)

Miso has been eaten in Japan and China for many centuries and has been said to have many health and anti-aging benefits. While it was once thought that soy was the reason for the low rates of heart disease, breast and prostate cancer in Asia, more evidence is now showing us that it is the consumption of traditional fermented soy products that are providing the real benefits. Miso is made of soybeans and koji, a culture starter made from beneficial moulds, yeast and lactic acid bacteria. You should choose unpasteurized miso to get the full benefits of live friendly microflora for the health of your inner ecosystem. There are many types of miso, some made with just soy beans and soy koji and others made with barley and rice. The one we use is made with organic brown rice. Miso can protect from radiation and reduce the risk of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer. It is antiviral because it is alkalizing and helps strengthen the immune system to combat viral infections. High in antioxidants, miso protects from free radicals that cause the signs of ageing. It helps maintain nutritional balance being full of nutrients, beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Miso provides protein, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin E, vitamin K, tryptophan, choline, dietary fibre, linoleic acid and lecithin. Miso contains linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps your skin stay soft and free of pigments. It also helps reduce menopausal complaints. The isoflavones in miso have been shown to reduce hot flushes.

Menu Picture
Hot and Sour Soup

Eggs

(Nicoise Salad, Gammon Ham, Eggs and Chips)

Eggs are great for the eyes and may prevent macular degeneration due to the carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Both nutrients are more readily available to our bodies from eggs than from other sources. They also help lower the risk of developing cataracts, also because of the lutein and zeaxanthin content. One egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids. According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease. In fact, according to one study, regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke and heart attacks. They are also a good source of choline. One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system. Whilst being quite high in fat, eggs contain the right kind of fat. One egg contains just 5 grams of fat and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat. New research shows that, contrary to previous belief, moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol. In fact, recent studies have shown that regular consumption of two eggs per day does not affect the lipid profile and may, in fact, improve it. Research suggests that it is saturated fat that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol. Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D. They may also prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%. Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12.

Menu Picture
Ham, Egg and Chips

Caraway

(Roasted Gammon Ham, Spiced Beetroot Soup)

Caraway seeds have been used as a remedy for menstrual cramps, gallbladder spasms, loss of appetite, digestive disorders, and to dispel worms.

Menu Picture
Joint of Gammon Ham with Caraway Seeds and English Mustard

Mint

(Peppermint Tea, Minted Lamb, Pimms)

Mint was originally used as a medicinal herb to treat stomach ache and chest pains. As an infusion it can help alleviate stomach pain.

Menu Picture
Half Shoulder of Minted Lamb with Vegetables

Anti-oxidants

As we breathe oxygen we generate chemicals called free radicals that can damage cells and tissues, ultimately leading to disease and ageing. The body produces a range of anti-oxidants to neutralise the effects of free radicals but production decreases as we grow older.

Hundreds of studies confirm that people who consume a diet rich in fruit and vegetables have the lowest risk of diseases associated with ageing, such as heart disease, macular degeneration and many types of cancer. At first, researchers believed this was due to the vitamins in these foods, but studies using vitamin supplements failed to deliver the same health benefits for heart disease and cancer.

Further research has uncovered other foods that are associated with longevity and good health. These include nuts, coffee, tea (green and black), red wine (moderate quantities only), extra-virgin olive oil and dark bitter chocolate. The common factor in all these things seems to be their range of anti-oxidants. Hence, scientists believe there's a link between eating anti-oxidant-rich foods and good health.

Minimising processing is also important. Extra-virgin olive oil, for example, has between 30 and 40 anti-oxidants, but some are lost when the oil is processed to produce "light" oil. Similarly, green tea and black tea come from the same plant, but the fermentation process used to make black tea changes the nature of the anti-oxidants.

The most commonly known anti-oxidants are vitamin E and C, folate and beta carotene. Other lesser known and more potent antioxidants are dithiolthiones, glucosinolates and isothiocyanates.

There are hundreds of anti-oxidants, and they don't all act in the same way in the body. That's why it may not be enough to consume a high level of one or two types. Studies have also shown that many anti-oxidants don't work when they're taken out of one food and added to another, or put into a supplement. Therefore, there's growing opinion that it's the way anti-oxidants work together, or with other natural components in food, that makes them effective.

Taking high single doses of some anti-oxidants may actually pose health problems instead of preventing them. In test-tube studies, for example, anti-oxidant vitamins prevent some types of cancer cells from multiplying. However, in two long-term studies, large doses of beta carotene increased the risk of lung cancer among smokers, even though eating more fruit and vegetables decreases the risk.

Some anti-oxidants, under some conditions, can also act as pro-oxidants (helping rather than fighting free radicals). Laboratory studies have shown that doses of vitamin C above 1000mg can behave in this way, and several long-term studies show that vitamin E supplements can increase some types of cardiovascular disease.

As no pill can hope to replicate the effects of hundreds of compounds found in unique combinations in foods, the best course of action is to stick to natural foods for your anti-oxidants. However, there is no way to measure the exact quantity of anti-oxidants required, because the body produces its own and may not need any extra - at least until we reach old age.

10 Anti-oxidant Foods with the Associated Health Benefits

The following are the sources of anti-oxidants for which there is the strongest scientific evidence of health benefits. However, all plant-based foods contain important anti-oxidants so the key is a diet of many different foods;

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

(Salad Dressings, Ciabatta with Olives)

Extra virgin olive oil is made without chemicals or heat so it's rich in anti-oxidants, many of which are not found in other oils.

Spinach

(Salmon Fillet, Vegetarian Wellington, Hot and Sour Soup)

Spinach is rich in many anti-oxidants, including some that benefit the eyes - especially in older people.

Menu Picture
Sandrock Fruit Salad

Berries

(Blueberry Sundae, Strawberry Sundae, Sandrock Fruit Salad)

Menu Picture
Blueberry Sundae

Berries, especially purple berries such as blueberries are high in anti-oxidants, while strawberries add to your total intake.

Tea and Coffee

Tea and coffee are both good sources of anti-oxidants. The very best choices are green tea and espresso coffee.

Menu Picture
Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Black Olives and Basil

Tomatoes

(Tomato and Mozzarella Stack, Tomato and Red Pesto Soup, BLT Burger, Salad Accompaniments)

Tomatoes contain lycopene, an anti-oxidant that may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. It's best absorbed from cooked tomatoes.

Menu Picture
BLT Burger

Red Wine

(4 Wines Available by the Glass and 3 Wines Available by the Bottle)

Red wine contains powerful anti-oxidants, but health benefits are wiped out after more than 1-2 standard (175ml) glasses in a day.

Red Peppers

(Superfood Salad)

Red peppers are one of the richest sources of vitamin C (alongside their red chilli cousins (Thai Beef Salad, Thai Fishcakes, Hot and Sour Soup, King Prawn Pitta)) and they're rated highly for anti-oxidants.


Carrots

(Vegetarian Haggis, Vegetable Accompaniments)

Carrots are high in carotenoids, a family of anti-oxidants, including beta carotene, that appear to work together to protect health.

Menu Picture
Roast Beef with Yorkshire Puddings and Vegetables

Rocket

(Salad Accompaniments)

Rocket, also known as arugula, is an excellent source of anti-oxidants, which also provide its popular bitter characteristics.

Dark, Bitter Chocolate

(Chocolate Sponge Pudding, Warm Chocolate Fudge Cake)

Dark, bitter chocolate contains anti-oxidants called phenols, which are believed to decrease blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.

Chocolate, More Good News!

Flavonoids

Chocolate is rich in flavonoids, part of a large and diverse class of phyto-chemicals called polyphenols. Several thousand flavonoids exist in substantial amounts in common plant-based foods, such as tea, chocolate, cocoa, soybeans and wine. Epidemiological research has suggested that some flavonoids might protect against certain chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular disease.

Antioxidants

Chocolate's antioxidant potency roughly matches that of gallic acid, another potent antioxidant, and is even more effective at cutting oxidation of LDLs (bad cholesterol) than those in red wine (consumption of which has been found to reduce significantly an individual's risk of heart attack).

Tooth Decay

Cocoa and chocolate have been shown to reduce the demineralization process, an activity which directly results in the formation of dental cavities. Chocolate has a high content of protein, calcium, phosphate and other minerals, all of which have exhibited protective effects on tooth enamel.

Copper Content

(0.8mg per 100g) which enhances red blood cells ability to carry oxygen. The average woman is deficient in copper. A good source of copper is liver but wouldn't you rather eat chocolate?

PEA (Phenylethylamine)

PEA (Phenylethylamine) is followed closely by theobroma as the chocolate chemical most responsible for lifting depressions. It is one of a group of plant-based stimulants called methylxanthines whose best know member is caffeine. Chocolate has straight caffeine too, but in very small amounts (70mg/100g). The effects of theobroma are similar to, but milder than caffeine's, and include alertness and decreased fatigue.

Magnesium

Magnesium (131mg per 100 g) is also credited for adding to the euphoria one gets from eating chocolate. Magnesium levels are found to be low during menstruation.

Serotonin and Tyramine

Serotonin (3mg/100g) and Tyramine (2mg/100g) are also present in chocolate and provide a mild calming, balancing effect.

Are You A Healthy Weight?

A good way to check if you're a healthy weight is to use the Body Mass Index (BMI).

Your BMI is a measure of whether you're a healthy weight for your height. It can indicate whether you're at raised risk of the serious health problems that are linked to being overweight, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

Calculate your BMI using the NHS Healthy Weight Checker by clicking here.