5 More Reasons to Love Dark Chocolate

by Kelli

Health benefits of chocolate

Alright, let’s just have some fun for a minute and reward ourselves for all the hard work we all do. Give yourself a treat, if no one else will, and indulge in a guiltless treat of dark chocolate. It might just be the ticket to a great day.

Here are a few reasons to feel good about including a square or two of dark chocolate in your daily routine.

1. Relax

Do you feel better after eating chocolate when you’re stressed? The compound anandamide found in chocolate has been shown to trigger the same brain receptors as marijuana. Now that’s a buzz you can feel good about!

2. Eat less.

Yep, chocolate before dinner can spoil your appetite. In a study in Denmark, 16 participants received 100 grams of either dark or milk chocolate, then two hours later were offered dinner. The group given the dark chocolate ate 15% fewer calories than those who had milk chocolate. Interestingly, they also had less desire for salty, and sugary foods. Sounds like adrenal support to me.

3. Feel good.

Can you fall in love with chocolate? Of course…we already knew that, right? The phenethylamine in chocolate stimulates the release of endorphins, similar to the reaction we experience when we fall in love. After hooking them up to brain and heart monitors, English researchers asked six couples to kiss after lettting squares of dark chocolate melt in their mouths. Hearts pounded and brains fired excitedly for both the chocolate and kissing, but chocolate doubled excitation rates in the brain’s pleasure center during the kiss, especially in women. I’m banking on Brad reading this.

4. Live longer.

Acorrding to a study in the British Medical Journal, chocolate consumption can help you live longer — almost a full year – compared to those who don’t eat it. Study groups who ate just one to three servings per month had the lowest mortality rates, with the antioxidants in the chocolate being the suspected cause. And a 2009 study showed that chocolate may help increase the odds of surviving a heart attack. In an unrelated study, people who ate high amounts of dark chocolate had a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in stroke compared to those with lower chocolate intakes. I’m on the right track to a long life.

5. Get smart.

Compounds in chocolate call flavanols improve blood circulation, including increasing blood flow to the brain. A 2009 study asked participants to perform simple math problems before and after drinking hot cocoa filled with flavonols. After drinking the cocoa, the participants were less likely to feel tired or mentally drained and performed the calculations more quickly and accurately. If you need a pick-me-up at work, why not give dark chocolate a try?

As if we needed more reasons to love chocolate….

About the author...

, diagnosed with an auto-immune disease as a child, has always paid close attention to her health. But when that disease went beyond the care of traditional care medicine, she found answers, and healing, through lifestyle improvements and working with a functional medicine doctor.

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