The main reason you should eat chocolate? It’s downright delicious. But in case that wasn’t enough reason for you, we compiled six health benefits that chocolate can provide to help justify your craving.
Although it is true that chocolate contains sugar and should be consumed in moderation, if you stick with the dark variety, you can also benefit from its health benefits. These include:
Anti-aging processing: Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation in the skin caused by UV exposure. The components in dark chocolate can also slow down the aging process by boosting circulation and moisture retention in the skin, giving it a more youthful appearance.
Boosts libido: Dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which is a compound produced when you’re in love. Chocolate also increases serotonin and dopamine, which increases our happiness and libido.
Support brain health: Adding chocolate into your diet can help enhance brain function. This is because the flavonoids in dark chocolate pass through to the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain responsible for learning and memory. By increasing blood flow to the brain, memory, learning ability, and problem-solving skills are improved.
Good for the heart: Flavonoids are high-quality antioxidants that have been shown to help reduce blood pressure, improve blood flow, and make blood platelets less likely to stick together and clot. By improving blood circulation, dark chocolate helps protect the heart.
Aids in weight loss: You may think that chocolate can contribute to weight gain. When consumed in high volumes, it definitely can, but controlled amounts of chocolate can help you feel full and leave you consuming less. Furthermore, chocolate contains anti-inflammatory properties that reduce muscle fatigue during exercise.
Reduces stress: Chocolate can help release serotonin and endorphins that improve mood and reduces stress. Consuming high-quality chocolate that’s high in cocoa can help keep your mood elevated.
To achieve these benefits, it’s important that you consume dark chocolate and not just a typical milk chocolate bar that is loaded with sugar. Lastly, moderation is key, because even though dark chocolate is healthy, you don’t want to overdo it.
Devon Andre holds a bachelor’s of forensic science from the University of Windsor in Canada and a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. Andre is a journalist for BelMarraHealth, which first published this article.