Here it is ladies (and gentlemen): the list you’ve been waiting for! We LOVE chocolate (who doesn’t?), but sometimes our waistlines tell us that we like it a little bit too much.
Well, now we’re fighting back with all the evidence we could possibly need to prove that chocolate is, in fact, extremely good for us.
Disclaimer: most of these benefits are linked to dark chocolate, and require you to only eat a small amount each day, but we won’t tell if you won’t!
1. It works as a shield against the sun. Dark chocolate contains loads of phenol compounds — which help reduce the risk of cancer — and catechins — which are good for your heart. Both of these antioxidants will also help protect your skin from sunburn and skin cancer.
2. It helps reduce stress (yes, really). Tests have shown that eating even a tiny bit of chocolate reduces the levels of stress hormones in your body that make you moody, and also bring down your anxiety levels.
3. It’s really good for your immune system. We’ve always been told that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but research shows that chocolate can do the trick, too. Dark chocolate has high levels of zinc, which helps decrease your risk of infection and increases the production of white blood cells.
4. It puts you in a good mood… scientifically and biologically speaking. Eating chocolates causes the body to produce opioids, which reduce pain levels and increase dopamine levels, leaving you happier and feeling good.
5. It’s good for your gut. Dark chocolate supports the growth of probiotics; good bacteria that assist with your digestive system, meaning that eating chocolate ensures you have a healthy inside.
6. It’s heart healthy. When eaten with apples or even raspberries, the flavonoid combination is extremely beneficial for cardiovascular functioning and health. (Anyone joining us for chocolate mousse with berry coulis for dessert?)