Chocolate is many people’s weakness when it comes to sweets. If that includes you, you’ll be happy to learn that the occasional indulgence is actually a good thing! That’s right, studies show that chocolate, specifically dark chocolate, is full of powerful antioxidants. Next time you give in to your sweet tooth, you can feel less guilty knowing you’re getting the following health benefits:
Heart & Brain Health
Regular chocolate consumption may help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and your risk of stroke! One Canadian study tested over 44,000 participants and found that the group given chocolate was 22% less likely to suffer a stroke.
Eating chocolate raises the levels of endorphins and serotonin in your brain. These “feel-good” chemicals can help lower stress, reduce anxiety and improve your mood.
One researcher has discovered that flavanols in cocoa boost blood flow to key parts of the brain for 2-3 hours, potentially improving cognitive function and alertness. Other research from Oxford University found that people who regularly consume chocolate score significantly higher on cognitive tests than those who didn’t.
Cocoa has been shown to have anti-clotting and blood-thinning properties, which can improve circulation throughout the body.
In a study involving about 1,000 participants between the ages of 20 and 85, researchers found that those who ate chocolate more often had a lower BMI than those who ate less. One theory that supports these findings claims that dark chocolate is more filling than milk chocolate. By offering more satisfaction, the dark chocolate may reduce cravings for other sweets or fatty foods.
Now, this blog isn’t justification for adding chocolate to every meal, but experts agree that 1-2 ounces per day is beneficial. You’re welcome!