Chocolate is the ultimate comfort food. No matter how bad your day is going, a piece of chocolate can still bring a smile to your face. In times of stress, sadness, and joy, chocolate is always there by our side. But, is that a good thing?
Obviously, if you’re eating a large chocolate bar each day, that’s too much. A little bit of the right type of chocolate is fine, but you have to be careful. Good chocolate is dark chocolate, which contains at least 70% cocoa. Even better, enjoy raw cacao powder, which you can learn more about in our favourite chocolate recipe blog.
So, if you can control yourself and eat only healthy chocolate, and only eat small amounts, what can you expect? Well, new research suggests that eating chocolate can help your brain function well into old age. It can also help your heart, circulation, and even major health challenges like autism and diabetes.
Let’s break it down.
- Chocolate & Your Heart
Dark chocolate helps to restore the flexibility in your arteries. This means that it can prevent white blood cells from sticking to the walls of your blood vessels and causing clogs. Chocolate has also been shown to reduce your risk of stroke. In fact, a study in Finland found that dark chocolate consumption lowered stroke risk by as much as 17%. So, go ahead, indulge in our Chocolate Brownies Recipe.
- Chocolate & Sickness
Did you know that dark chocolate is packed with a variety of beneficial minerals? In fact, 70% dark chocolate provides 67% of your daily iron plus potassium, zinc, and selenium. Chocolate also helps you feel better. It contains phenylethylamine, which gives you a happy, “in love” feeling. It releases endorphins, so you feel better.
- Chocolate & Your Skin
Chocolate is also great for your skin. The flavonols in dark chocolate protect your skin against sun damage. The flavonols can also improve your skin hydration and thickness, for a more youthful appearance. Plus, dark chocolate helps to reduce your stress, which means less collagen breakdown in your skin and fewer wrinkles. Enjoy a Cherry Chocolate Coconut Muffin each day and see if you notice a difference.
- Chocolate and Your Weight
In most cases, sweets make you gain weight, but chocolate has the opposite effect. A study by a neuroscientist found that allowing a small square of chocolate to melt on your tongue 20 minutes before a meal triggers your body’s hormones that say, “I’m full.” This means that you subsequently eat less and reduce your snacking.
- Chocolate and Your Brain
Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Instead of grabbing a cup of coffee, try eating a small slice of our Black Forest Cacao Layer Cake. The flavonols in dark chocolate can reduce memory loss and help you perform better cognitively. Eating chocolate improves your working memory, scanning and tracking, abstract reasoning, and your overall mental state.
Okay, what are you waiting for? Stock up on your dark chocolate and get eating!