Are you a chocoholic?

It's a pretty safe bet that this weekend there will be a huge amount of chocolate eaten. Easter and chocolate go hand-in-hand, especially as the UK is a nation of chocolate fans. Every year we spend £4billion on chocolate - that's about £65 per person! Judging by the number of web searches made every day, our love affair with chocolate extends beyond just eating it to searching for it online too.

Top chocolate searches:
  1. Godiva chocolate
  2. Pure dark chocolate
  3. Organic milk chocolate
  4. Chocolate bars
  5. Gourmet chocolate gifts
  6. Chocolate hamper
  7. Easter chocolate gifts
  8. Organic chocolate
  9. Chocolates by post
  10. Handmade chocolate truffles
Why is chocolate so popular? Of course it tastes good, but it has also been suggested that it contains naturally occurring chemicals that make you feel good. When ingested, phenylethylamine is supposed to cause your body to feel the same way as when you fall in love and theobromine triggers the release of endorphins, which make the body feel good. So it's no wonder that people think of chocolate as a guilty pleasure.

Happily, recent research has shown that eating dark chocolate rich in cocoa can be good for your health. The cocoa bean contains antioxidants that can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. I think that's a pretty good excuse for eating chocolate!

So when you're choosing your Easter eggs this weekend, try to go for dark chocolate for a flavonoid-full antioxidant treat. But if you are seduced by milk and white chocolate, remember that they do at least contain calcium, which is good for your bones. Or alternatively, just admit that you love chocolate and tuck in sans-guilt.

Some tips for chocoholics who want to curb their habit: try eating a small frozen piece of chocolate without biting it. Just roll the chocolate around your mouth until it melts. This way the chocolate experience will last longer - and it might just prevent you from eating a whole bar in one go! Another trick is to take time to smell your chocolate before eating it in order to stimulate different senses. This should double your chocolate pleasure!

As Charles M. Schulz said: "All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."

Are you a chocoholic? What are yor favourite types of chocolate? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.