I know they say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but I don’t agree.
As a certified nutritionist, I’m telling ya, CHOCOLATE is a girl (and guys) best friend. It’s sweet, satisfying, and actually has some pretty cool health benefits.
Now I’m not saying you should go eat your weight in M&Ms and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, the type of chocolate you consume counts here.
What I am saying is maybe that piece of dark chocolate you enjoyed today isn’t so bad after all.
Get excited because I’m about to give you ALL the reasons to enjoy a little more chocolate.
5 Surprising Benefits of Chocolate
1.Chocolate makes a filling snack.
Did you know that chocolate is an excellent source of fiber? Fiber is awesome because it helps fill you up and can actually help you snack less!
So next time you get the urge to satisfy that sweet tooth, try a little bit of dark chocolate! You’ll fill up and will be more likely to consume fewer calories overall.
Consuming fewer calories overall can help you lose weight. Plus, dark chocolate (i’m talking 70% or higher) has relatively low sugar and is pretty clean when it comes to treats. In fact, some studies show that dark chocolate can reduce insulin resistance and won’t spike your blood sugar like other treats. Win-win!
2. Chocolate Is full of antioxidants.
Did you know that unprocessed cocoa beans have one of the highest scores on the ORAC scale? The ORAC scale is essentially used for measuring the antioxidant count in various foods.
Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, particularly polyphenols and flavanols. These antioxidants are awesome for keeping your body and cells functioning properly and even protect against certain health problems.
3. Chocolate boosts your mood.
This might seem pretty obvious, but there’s actually some scientific reasoning to why chocolate makes you feel oh so good!
Dark chocolate contains serotonin, a neurotransmitter that has been shown to boost your mood! Dark chocolate also promotes the body to release endorphins. Yep, that’s right. Move over exercise, you’re not the only thing that makes us feel happy!
4. Chocolate can improve blood flow.
One small study found that consuming 1.5 oz of dark chocolate (85%) helped improve blood flow in participants that had peripheral artery disease. Researchers found that those who ate the dark chocolate could walk 11% farther than those who just had milk chocolate.
Improvement in blood flow could mean better endurance, less cramping, reduced blood pressure, and better brain and vascular health.
5. Chocolate can help your brain.
Better blood flow? Better brain. That’s one explanation as to why dark chocolate seems to increase cognitive function!
Another reason is the flavonols in dark chocolate help reduce memory-related problems, at least in the elderly. This could be due to dark chocolate’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Just Don’t Go Crazy!
Dark chocolate is awesome, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have some side effects. Keep in mind that many varieties of even dark chocolate contain added sugar, so just be sure to do your homework and check labels. The darker the better!
Chocolate also contains a small amount of caffeine, so if you’re sensitive to stimulants like caffeine, you might experience a little restlessness or increased heart rate. For this reason, try to steer clear of dark chocolate late at night so it doesn’t interfere with your sleep!
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