Chocolate says “I’m sorry” so much better than words.
― Rachel Vincent
You may have heard it before, but it’s never enough to be reminded again and again: dark chocolate can be good for you! When consumed in moderation, this delicious treat has some powerful health benefits.
Four important reasons to indulge
1. Dark chocolate can help prevent heart disease
Like tea, dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are compounds that function as antioxidants. Flavonoids protect cells from harmful molecules —free radicals— that are produced when the body breaks down food or is exposed to sunlight or smoke. Free radicals can cause cell damage that leads to heart disease. Flavonoids can also lower blood pressure and reduce LDL cholesterol (i.e., the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.
2. Dark chocolate can improve your mood
Dark chocolate stimulates the generation of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that produce feelings of satisfaction. It also contains the chemical serotonin, which serves as an anti-depressant.
3. Dark chocolate can enhance brain function
A study of healthy volunteers showed that five days of consuming high-flavanol cocoa improved blood flow to the brain. Dark chocolate may also increase significantly cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. And it even helps improve verbal fluency.
4. Dark chocolate can protect your skin
Researchers in Germany discovered that the flavonoids in dark chocolate absorb UV light. It also contributes to protect and increase blood flow to the skin, improving skin’s hydration and complexion.
Despite all of its health benefits, dark chocolate contains a lot of calories. So, experts suggest consuming no more than 3 ounces of dark chocolate per day.
If you’re thinking on a beach vacation, indulge on dark chocolate in the prior weeks and months.