You've probably heard that dark chocolate is good for you. It's true that there are many benefits to having a bit of chocolate now and then, and that most of those are due to the natural compounds found in cocoa beans. Because dark chocolate contains more of these natural compounds than milk chocolate, the benefits are more pronounced when eating it. But these surprising health benefits are true to one degree or another of any chocolate in all of its many forms.
1. Chocolate prevents blood clots
It's true, researchers have found that chocolate helps prevent the platelets in your blood from clumping together. Blood clots are the leading cause of strokes, so eating chocolate makes you less likely to have a stroke. It also reduces your chances of having a heart attack.
2. Chocolate is good for your skin
With all the new facial recipes going around, you might think that you have to go start melting the chocolate, but it isn't topical application that makes the difference here. Chocolate contains flavonoids that have all sorts of health benefits. One of the largest, found by researchers in Germany, is that they protect your skin from UV rays. So you don't have to give up sun bathing, you just have to eat chocolate while you lie out!
3. Chocolate makes you smarter
Those flavonoids do more than just help you stay beautiful, they also make you smarter. Flavonoids boost brain activity, thereby improving metal functions. The difference is especially noticeable in math. Dark chocolate contains the most flavonoids, so it is the most beneficial, but any chocolate will contain some.
4. Chocolate makes you feel better
Very few people will argue with this statement, but it's more than just the delicious taste that's improving your mood. The chemicals in chocolate help release endorphins into your system. Endorphins reduce anxiety and make you feel calmer. So the next time you find yourself facing a stressful problem, eating a chocolate bar can actually help put you in a better frame of mind for tackling a solution.
5. Chocolate can help you lose weight
If you find yourself packing a few extra pounds, you've probably make a commitment to cut chocolate sweets out of your diet until you're back down to the size you want to be. But scientists at the University of Copenhagen are advising you to eat a little dark chocolate instead of steering clear. Dark chocolate lessens cravings for fatty and salty foods-two of the biggest contributors in excess weight gain. On top of that, allowing yourself a little taste of goodness each day makes you less likely to cheat on your diet.
So go ahead and enjoy your chocolate bar guilt free. Not only are you not harming yourself, you are actually boosting your health in a number of different ways.