3 Reasons to Eat Some Chocolate Right Now

April 16, 2014 Updated: April 16, 2014

 

Do you like chocolate? If so, I have some good news for you! Get yourself a little piece of good, dark chocolate, and check out these fun chocolate facts below.

If you’re trying to watch your sugar intake, you might have given chocolate the boot along with the rest of the sweets in your life. While plowing through a pint of chocolate ice cream is still not a healthy choice, a few squares of dark chocolate once in a while is actually good for you!

Like any other food, you want to enjoy your chocolate in moderation. When I say that chocolate is good for you, I’m not saying to eat a whole Hershey bar. A little bit of good-quality dark chocolate goes a long way. Think of it as an excuse to splurge on an expensive bar. Those suckers last a long time if you’re only eating a couple of squares a day!

3 Good Reasons to Eat Some Chocolate Right Now

All of the research I’ve found on the benefits of chocolate points specifically at dark chocolate as the healthiest choice. I’m sorry, milk chocolate fans! Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of cocoa, so you get more bang for your bite.

1. It’s good for your heart.

Chocolate comes from the cocoa plant, and cocoa is rich in compounds called flavonoids, which help protect your heart. Flavonoids help repair damaged cells, and the flavonoids in chocolate also help protect our cells from damage in the first place. Cocoa’s flavonoids are a special variety called flavonols. There’s research suggesting that these compounds also lower blood pressure and help prevent blood clots.

2. It may help prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes.

A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry looked at how the flavonols in cocoa impacted weight gain. The result? Mice who ate a diet rich in the compounds found in cocoa gained less weight and processed insulin better. The latter result suggests that chocolate may also help prevent type 2 diabetes.

3. It might help reduce your risk of stroke.

Is there anything the compounds in cocoa can’t do? When the good bacteria in your belly breaks down chocolate, it actually ferments and produces anti-inflammatory compounds. Chocolate’s anti-inflammatory properties may just help protect you from stroke.

Cheers, chocolate-lovers!

This article was originally published on Care2.com. Read the original here.

Image of man eating chocolate via Shutterstock