You’ve heard that treats like dark chocolate are good for you, but exactly HOW is it good for you?
Here are 8 reasons, based on proper science, that eating a bit of dark chocolate will make your life better, and maybe even last longer.
- Dark chocolate is actually good for your skin! Chocolate doesn’t cause acne and flavonoids in it offer some protection against UV rays.
- Chocolate can relieve PMS. The magnesium in chocolate can help alleviate cramps and increase energy, but only eat a little – bingeing doesn’t work.
- Chocolate reduces stroke risk. It’s those flavonoids again! Their antioxidant properties help to fight strokes. Also a compound found in chocolate called epicatechin strengthens the cells in your brain.
- Reduced risk of diabetes. A small study from the University of L’Aquila, in Italy, found that eating chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, which reduces the risk of diabetes.
- Preventing cancer? Well, it turns out that cocoa contains a compound called pentameric procyanidin which messes with cancer cells’ ability to spread.
- Chocolate may also help to keep your brains young. In a recent study elderly participants who received high flavonol chocolate drinks showed better mental performance after eight weeks.
- It helps you to stop coughing. Something called theobromine seems to reduce the activity of the vagus nerve, the part of your brain that triggers coughing fits – and chocolate has it!
- It can make you better at maths! We’re back to those fantastic flavonoids – flavanols (a kind of flavonoids found in chocolate) helps people with mental maths. It might not hurt to eat a piece of dark chocolate before exams.
There’s One Catch
Go for dark chocolate, and eat it on its own – not coating an ice-cream or cookie. The benefit comes from the purer form of chocolate without the addition of preservatives and sugar. If you’re not crazy about strong dark chocolate on its own, grate it over your yoghurt and berries at breakfast time or melt some and make icing for this gluten-free chocolate cake.
So, now you know that what your body always told you is true: chocolate IS good for you.