Does chocolate give you spots? I get asked this question a lot.
It’s no secret that skin health can be directly affected by our diet. I often write about the links between acidic foods and eczema flare-ups for instance.
So, it stands to reason that chocolate might not be the best thing for our complexions.
But, does it directly cause pimples?
The answer is yes and no.
The key is the quality of chocolate. The cacao beans themselves are not the culprit but the other ingredients used in its production – namely low-grade animal fats and large quantities of refined sugar.
Sugar – of the white, processed crystalline variety – is the biggest cause of spots. Eating too much of it suppresses the immune system by causing the pancreas to secrete excessive quantities of insulin to break it down.
Insulin remains in circulation in the bloodstream for a long time afterwards and is thought to upset our mineral and hormonal balance. Hormones increase sebum production which can clog the pores and cause pimples to erupt.
So why do some people get spots and others don’t?
Well, firstly your genes have a lot to do with it. Some people are just blessed with flawless skin.
However, the strength of your liver function is thought to be a major contributor to perfect skin. Your liver clears excess hormones from your system. So a strong liver will do a better job of this than others and mean less hormonal imbalance.
A liver weakened by poor diet and high alcohol consumption will lead to more unsightly spots and congested skin.
In its purest form, dark chocolate has the highest cacao content. Studies have shown that when eaten in moderation, it can help to promote cardiac health.
It also increases our serotonin levels — the brain chemical that makes us feel happy. Which, in my book, is reason alone to get chomping this Easter.