While most of us love the taste of cake, we try to keep our consumption to a minimum because typically, they’re full of sugar and calories. Could there actually be any health benefits of indulging in our favourite treat however?
We’re not recommending that you eat cake all day long, but if you do decide to give in and have a little treat, here are five reasons why you shouldn’t feel guilty.
It gives you energy
Carbohydrates are a major source of energy and cake contains plenty of them. Along with the fats usually present in sweet treats, it means that a slice of cake can provide the entire body – including muscles, the brain and nervous system, with a sufficient amount of energy. Perfect for that post-lunch slump.
It can build strength
It might sound a little far-fetched but cake can actually help to make you stronger. Milk and eggs are a great source of protein and the extra calcium is also necessary for improving the functionality of bones and teeth. If you’re seriously into your fitness, why not make some high protein cakes? You can find some great recipe ideas on this link: https://www.proteinpromo.com/protein-recipes/protein-packed-cake-recipes/. Not only do they taste delicious, they often substitute sugar for healthier alternatives such as honey.
One of your five a day
Why not get creative with your cake! Add some cake toppers like those from Cakeshop or add some fruit to contribute towards your five a day.
The other benefits of adding fruit include:
- It’s a great source of vitamins which helps to strengthen the immune system
- Fibre-rich fruits such as berries, pineapples and apples improve your digestive system, keep you feeling fuller for longer and can even help to minimise the risk of heart disease
It’s great for your mental health
We all know how happy eating cake makes us feel but rewarding yourself every once in a while can actually provide real mental health benefits.
Chocolate is great at helping our brains release serotonin and endorphins. Both of these hormones make us feel happy which explains why we often crave sweet things when we’re stressed out or feeling a bit down in the dumps.
Speaking about the powerful effect of chocolate concluding a major U.S. study, Adam Drewnowski from the University of Michigan commented:
“When we eat chocolate, we release and experience pleasure which is why we end up craving it. We want chocolate in times of stress, anxiety and pain because it’s a natural pain killer.”
The Telegraph also wrote an interesting article on why chocolate is good for us, If you’d like to find out more, follow the link: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/nutrition/chocolate-10-health-reasons-you-should-eat-more-of-it/
It can aid with weight loss
A study carried out in 2014 by Business Insider (http://uk.businessinsider.com/a-study-found-that-cake-can-help-you-lose-weight-but-theres-a-catch-2018-4?r=US&IR=T) found that eating cake for breakfast can help you to lose weight. While on the surface this is unfortunately probably too good to be true, the study did highlight some interesting points about a common-sense approach to weight loss:
- Dieters who allowed themselves an occasional treat (such as cake) were more likely to stick to their eating plan long-term compared to those who completely deprived themselves
- Cheat treats were found to boost metabolism by increasing leptin (the anti-starvation hormone that sends hunger messages to the brain). When your body senses a calorie deficit, your leptin levels drop which prompts the metabolism to slow down so you can conserve energy
- Participants who associated eating chocolate cake with guilt actually lost less weight that those who associated it with celebration
So there you have it, you really can have you cake and eat it!