Dark chocolate is a sweet treat that when many people that of it doesn’t really bring to mind a “healthy” image. However, the velvety sweet treat is packed with many healthy benefits that get lost in the shuffle of it being an indulgence rather than a helpful food. Despite all of this dark chocolate when eaten in moderation each day can help to provide a wealth of benefits to your body that just might make the few extra calories worth it.
1. It Can Help with Your Appetite – In a health study conducted in 2011 it was found that when participants ate an ounce of dark chocolate each day they reported eating about 20% fewer calories throughout the day. Additionally, participants found that they craved less salty, sweet and fat packed foods as well.
2. It Can Help Your Mood – Chocolate, and dark chocolate especially, has a number or natural components specific to chocolate that help create a state of euphoria that boosts your mood. People who eat chocolate regularly are far less at risk for depression as the treat helps to create a steady influx of mood boosters that keep depression at bay.
3. It Can Help Make You Smarter – Dark chocolate contains several antioxidants that have been linked to helping to increase brain activity, strengthening long term and short term memory, and improving overall cognitive reasoning.
4. It Can Protect Your Heart – The sweet treat holds several natural compounds that help to protect and strengthen your heart over time. It can improve blood and oxygen circulation, relax and strengthen the walls of arteries, decrease blood pressure and increase the flow of nutrients to the heart and the rest of the body.
5. It Can Make You Less Stressed – Dark chocolate is able to stabilize imbalances in your body’s hormones such as cortisol, norepinephrine and epinephrine which can drive up your stress levels. Stress has the ability to severely affect the body from putting undue pressure on the heart to keeping your metabolism from regulating itself (thereby making it harder for you to keep that stomach paunch from getting bigger.)