Next time someone gives you grief about demolishing an entire block of chocolate in one sitting just let them know about a little old Italian lady named Giuseppina Projetto.
Projetto, who sadly died on July 6, lived to the ripe old age of 116 and credited her long life and vibrant nature to eating chocolate every day.
Known as the “nonna of Italy”, Projetto lived in Italy her entire life and was the second-oldest person in the world when she died, Travel and Leisure reports. But rather than exercise and a healthy diet, she said it was her love of chocolate and staying positive that were the keys to her long life.
It seems that Projetto may really be onto something too as previous studies have shown that eating a small amount of dark chocolate daily can improve health
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition stated that this tasty dessert could help ward off heart disease and diabetes.
Dark chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain as well as to the heart, reducing your risk of stroke. It can improve cognitive function and boost your mood while also helping to control your blood sugar. How? Chocolate contains a number of potent compounds such as phenylethylamine, which boost endorphins, and it also reduces cortisol (stress) levels.
While chocolate is often thought of as treat food due to its high sugar and fat content, the study found that dark chocolate can prevent some forms of cell damage in the body. Dark chocolate has a high level of antioxidants – these antioxidants destroy free radicals in your body, which cause oxidative damage to cells.
Getting rid of free radicals helps with the ageing process and can reduce your risk of cancer. While more research is definitely needed to determine whether chocolate does indeed have any significant benefits, the studies so far are encouraging.
And it’s not just Projetto singing the praises of the sweet stuff. In April, the world’s oldest man, Masazo Nonaka, 112, claimed his secret to longevity came down to a dedicated love of sweets.
With that in mind, pass the chocolate!