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The 5 Incredible Health Benefits of Chocolate
Just when you thought eating healthy meant kale chips and endless plates of Brussels sprouts, there is finally good news! Chocolate actually has health benefits! Of course we don’t mean scarfing down a half pound of Hershey’s best in one sitting, but chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has been found to be simply loaded with antioxidants and the good fats that actually improve health. Read 15 facts about chocolate.
So get ready to enjoy some good news. Here are the top 5 health benefits you can get from eating chocolate.
1. Chocolate Can Curb Your Appetite
Sometimes those cravings for sweets are simply overwhelming. However, you don’t have to nibble on carrot sticks and in hopes they go away, instead, have a piece of dark chocolate. Nutrition and Diabetes published a study that showed those who ate 100 grams of dark chocolate felt less hungry and fuller after eating. This is most likely because the intense flavor, as well as the fat, in dark chocolate act as an appetite suppressant and cut cravings at the same time. A bit of dark chocolate might just be the perfect dessert!
2. Chocolate Is Heart Healthy
Perhaps that age old saying should be changed slightly to read “Some chocolate every day keeps the doctor away.” No joke, there are studies published in the Journal of Nutrition that show that eating chocolate actually improves the health of your heart. Chocolate lowers your bad cholesterol and therefore lowers the risk of developing heart disease. Another study, this one a long term one done in Germany in 2013 showed that one ounce of dark chocolate per day lowered blood pressure as well as reduced the risk of heart attacks by a whopping 39 percent. Again, moderation is the key here, but it does seem as if a little bit of chocolate goes a long way.
3. Chocolate Improves Eyesight
Although carrots are known for improving eyesight, a recent study that comes out of England’s University of Reading says that eating dark chocolate improves your vision, especially in low contrast situations such as rain or foggy weather. It’s believed that the high concentrations of antioxidants that are found in dark chocolate work to keep your eyesight in top condition.
4. Chocolate Can Help You Lose Weight
Sounds like a bad joke, but it’s true. The University of Copenhagen studied dark chocolate and found that it was far more filling and satisfying than other types of chocolate. Dark chocolate also lessened the cravings for fatty, salty or more sweets. This means that if a small piece of dark chocolate keeps you from eating other goodies such as potato chips or sodas, then you should have an easier time sticking to your diet. Incorporate one ounce of dark chocolate into your day, along with a sensible diet and exercise program, and watch the pounds disappear!
5. Chocolate Reduces Stress
Researchers at UC San Diego confirmed what your already know, when the going gets tough, the tough turn to chocolate. However Swiss researchers have found that when people who felt anxious or stressful ate one and a half ounces of dark chocolate every day for two weeks, not only felt better but their stress hormone levels were much lower. This is another good reason to work a little bit of dark chocolate into your daily diet. It’s not only healthy for your body but you will feel a little more relaxed about eating it.