Because I'm a major chocoholic, I decided to go on the hunt for the benefits of eating chocolate just so I could have a reason to eat more of the sweet stuff. And it turns out that there were more benefits of eating chocolate than I originally thought! (woo-hoo!) So, that’s right, fellow chocoholics, our addiction is healthy (err…somewhat)... here are 7 benefits of eating chocolate!
1. Your Heart
Eating chocolate helps your heart. Research from Sweden concluded that women, who ate one to two servings of dark chocolate daily, decreased their chances of having heart failures by one-third. Even better, a German study conceded that having one square of dark chocolate a day reduced the risk of having a heart attack and stroke by thirty-nine percent! Blood pressure was also lowered as a result. Wow! These seem like pretty good reasons to indulge and reap the benefits of eating chocolate, doesn’t it, ladies?
2. Weight Loss
Surprisingly, devouring dark chocolate fills you up better and lessens your cravings for other fatty, salty and sugary foods, so you snack less! And snacking less, especially on unhealthy junk foods, can equal weight loss.
3. Prevent Diabetes
Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Yet, a study conducted in Italy showed that eating one dark chocolate candy bar a day for at least fifteen days decreased insulin resistance in the body by about fifty percent!
4. Less Stress
Swiss scientists suggest gnawing on an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for least two weeks to help reduce stress. So after a stressful day at work or a messy break up, whip out the chocolate and dig in! Make sure it's the dark chocolate, though, not milk chocolate; look for at least 70% pure cocao on the label.
5. Protection from the Sun
This only works with chocolate that has high amounts of flavonols in them. Higher amounts of flavonols are found in the higher percentage of cacao dark chocolate, which tends to be bitterer than other chocolates. The study suggests that the benefit of defending against sunburns can only be reaped after three months of indulging in this high flavonol chocolate. If you consistently devour this type of chocolate, it should take twice as long to redden your skin.
6. More Brain Power
Can chocolate make you smarter? A study conducted in Norway says that it can. Researchers concluded that people consuming flavonol rich chocolate scored higher on cognitive assessments. Additionally, another study conducted in Nottingham found that flavonol rich cocoa led to better blood flow to the brain, which may improve short-term brain performance.
7. Cough Relief
According to one study, chocolate may help soothe coughing spells better than codeine. This is because the chemical in chocolate, theobromine , may inhibit activity in the brain called the vagus nerve. Next time I’m suffering from a terrible coughing fit due to a cold, I’m going to pop a piece of chocolate into my mouth and hope it helps! And if not, well, at least I satisfied my sweet tooth!
I must admit that I’m obsessed with chocolate and these benefits make it all the better! The key to indulging in chocolate and reaping the many benefits is moderation and consistency. Do you indulge in chocolate on a daily basis? If so, were you aware of all the health benefits?