I know you’re probably smiling while reading this post. Why wouldn’t you? Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and you’re gearing up to eat as much chocolate as you can!
I’m not here to say you should over indulge yourself and eat so much chocolate… No. Chocolate has been said to cause a lot of problems including acne and obesity when taken in large enough quantities. But in recent years, studies have found that eating small amounts of the right kind of chocolate can actually be healthy.
Studies show that Dark Chocolate (not just any kind of chocolate) is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. Take a look at some of the surprising health benefits of chocolate:
A Healthier Heart
Regular chocolate eaters welcome a host of benefits for their hearts, including lower blood pressure, lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease.
One of the reasons dark chocolate is especially heart-healthy is its inflammation-fighting properties, which reduce cardiovascular risk. A study showed that chocolate 5+ times per week lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 57%. Another recent study in Australia showed that eating chocolate high in healthy antioxidants reduced the blood pressure-raising effects of exercise on overweight individuals.
A Good Source Of Antioxidants
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help free your body of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells. Free radicals are implicated in the aging process and may be a cause of cancer, so eating antioxidant rich foods like dark chocolate can protect you from many types of cancer and slow the signs of aging.
Reduces Risk Of Stroke
A 2011 Swedish study found that women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than women who treated themselves to fewer than 9 grams of the sweet stuff. Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain as well as to the heart, so it can help improve cognitive function. This helps reduce your risk of stroke.
I found other health benefits of chocolate while doing some research but these three above struck me the most.
Because it’s rich in fiber, dark chocolate can actually help keep you full, so you’ll eat less. It also contains a number of vitamins and minerals that can support your health such as Potassium, Copper, Magnesium and Iron. The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate are also great for your skin. And let’s not forget its amazing taste. Hmm…. Yummy.
SL Fabz, don’t forget. Eat chocolate in moderation. Don’t go overboard, chocolate still contains sugar and fat. Enjoy a little bit of it for its great health benefits.
Have a Sweet Friday!