Everyone loves eating chocolate. Well, almost everyone. But no one likes that guilty feeling that comes from eating a chocolate bar alongside a petite friend picking at her bowl of strawberries.
We have some good news for you—you can eat your chocolate proudly. Chocolate actually has remarkable health benefits. And it tastes good. Really good. So, here are some reasons to continue eating it unashamedly
It can lower your blood pressure
Studies have shown that chocolate containing flavanols substantially lowers blood pressure in the short term. In one particular study, the top fifth of chocolate-eaters observed were significantly less likely to develop heart disease or suffer a stroke when compared to the bottom fifth of consumers. Another study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign revealed that eating dark chocolate daily improved blood pressure and lowered cholesterol.
It may prevent cancer
Chocolate and cocoa contain a pentameric procyanidin, also referred to as pentamer, which prevents cancer cells’ ability to spread. Scientists at Georgetown University treated cancer cells with pentamer in a study, and they found that the pentamer suppressed the proteins necessary for cancer growth, and as a result, the cells stopped dividing.
It’s full of antioxidants
Or, dark chocolate is. It contains large amounts of flavonoids, which help fight diseases. Studies conducted at Harvard University have suggested that eating chocolate also leads to living longer. This is because cocoa contains antioxidants known as polyphenols. They are also found in red wine, and they prevent the oxidation of harmful cholesterol.
It can help with PMS
Chocolate contains magnesium and releases calming endorphins. It lessens anxiety, lifts moods, and reduces water retention. Also, it can help alleviate cramping and can give you an energy boost.
It can protect your brain
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University discovered that dark chocolate protects brain cells. Chocolate can dramatically reduce brain damage and can shield your brain from the damage caused by stroke. Furthermore, flavanol-rich dark chocolate can reduce memory loss in the elderly and can function as an anti-inflammatory to treat brain injuries such as concussions.
It reduces cholesterol
Eating chocolate and cocoa has been found to lower levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lift levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL). This can decrease the risk of heart disease.
It can help your skin
Although many teenagers blame chocolate for their acne, there’s no scientific data to confirm this link. Not only does it not cause acne, but it also can shield skin from sun damage. Scientists at Germany’s Heinrich Heine University exposed people who ate chocolate to ultraviolet light. After a period of six weeks, chocolate eaters had 15 percent less skin reddening than those who didn’t eat chocolate before exposure.
It could help protect against heart attacks and strokes
Scientists at Cambridge University discovered in a study that those eating the most chocolate had a 37% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 29% lower risk of suffering a stroke than those who consumed less chocolate. Dark chocolate also helps develop arterial flexibility and helps prevent arteries from clogging.
So the next time you’re eating a chocolate bar alongside that petite friend picking at her bowl of strawberries, consider telling her to dip them in chocolate.