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If you’re a dark chocolate lover, it will be music to your ears to hear that science confirms eating chocolate is actually good for you!
There are plenty of studies that have found a surprising number of benefits from eating this sweet treat. So, there’s no need to feel guilty about indulging a little now and then. Here’s what you need to know.
Not all chocolate is created equal
The first point to note is that, unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to all varieties of chocolate! It’s specifically dark chocolate that research has shown to be good for you.
This is because the main benefits of eating chocolate come from the cocoa that it contains, and the levels of cocoa tend to be higher in dark chocolate.
Plus, dark chocolate usually has lower levels of fat and sugar—although not always, so be sure to check the label—which also makes a big difference to your health.
It’s also not an excuse to gorge yourself on as much chocolate as you can eat! Around 20g is considered a healthy portion, roughly 2-6 squares depending on the size.
So whether you’re looking to buy some chocolate for yourself or chocolate gifts for others, top-quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage is the way to go if you’re hoping to reap the following benefits.
The health benefits of chocolate
One of the most widely accepted benefits of dark chocolate is that it protects your heart.
Studies have suggested that it can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, decrease cholesterol levels, improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure—all of which is great for your cardiovascular system.
Another fantastic advantage of consuming dark chocolate is that it can boost your cognitive functions. Improving blood flow to the brain can help improve memory and even protect against neurological conditions such as dementia.
This better cognitive performance may also be caused by dark chocolate’s flavanol content, which can act as an antioxidant.Eating dark chocolate (in moderation, of course) has a number of other surprising health benefits, from fighting disease to boosting your mood. Learn more now! Click To Tweet
Protects the Skin
Perhaps one of the more unexpected benefits of flavanols is that it can also protect skin from UV rays.
In addition to boosting our physical health, eating dark chocolate can also benefit our mental health.
Several studies have found that it can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of depression or reduce the chances of developing them in the first place.
It’s also been shown to be great at relieving stress and generally putting us in a happier mood. This probably come as no surprise to you, but it’s nice to be able to say that it’s been scientifically proven!
Finally, if you want to enjoy extra benefits, try enjoying your dark chocolate alongside a cup of coffee. The combination of the two is particularly effective!
Are you a fan of dark or milk chocolate?
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.