Study after study proves that dark chocolate is good for more than curing a broken heart or satisfying cravings during that time of the month. Good quality, dark chocolate is packed with healthy chemicals like flavonoids and theobromine, which basically make it a disease killing superfood.
Be careful and make sure to snack smart though, and stick to healthy chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao (none of that milk chocolate stuff that’s packed with sugar). As long as the content is that high, you can reap the health benefits.
Here are 5 reasons to eat chocolate for your health:
A recent study conducted in Germany has found that about a square of dark chocolate a day lowered blood pressure and reduced risk of heart attack and stroke by 39%. Most of the credit goes to flavonoids, the antioxidant compounds found in chocolate that increase the flexibility of veins and arteries.
If you’re wondering how you can eat chocolate without ruining your 2016 weight loss goals, the good news is that it should be easier than you expect. Researchers have found that dark chocolate is far more filling than lighter varieties of chocolate, offering more of a feeling of satiety so you feel full. Essentially, dark chocolate lessens cravings for sweet, salty, and fatty foods.
As it turns out, it’s not necessarily a bad thing that people tend to reach for chocolate in times of stress. As we’ve discussed in this article, we know what kind of havoc stress (and cortisol, which our body produces in times of stress) can wreak on our bodies. Researchers found that when very anxious people ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for two weeks, their stress hormone levels were significantly reduced, which means that the chocolate helps to mitigate the effects of cortisol.
Dark chocolate can actually help boost your brain power when you need to be sharp. The flavanols in chocolate boost blood flow to key parts of the brain for approximately 2 to 3 hours, which could improve short term performance and alertness.
One study found that chocolate is capable of quieting coughs almost as well as codeine does, thanks to a compound it contains called theobromine. This chemical, also responsible for chocolate’s feel-good effect, helps to suppress activity in the part of the brain which makes us cough.