This Valentine’s Day (or any day ending in “y”), reach for that square or bar of rich dark chocolate without guilt. You’re being healthy after all. In fact, consuming a square of dark chocolate every day could have several positive impacts on the body’s health, as long as it has a high cocoa content, which is rich in iron, fiber, potassium as well as taste and texture.
That box of chocolates you received from someone special (or from yourself) is not only an act of love, but an act of health, too. Here are some of the many benefits of cocoa-rich dark chocolate:
- Improves Blood Flow and Boosts Heart Health. This is due to the dilation of the blood vessels from consuming only a small square of dark chocolate.
- Fights Fatigue. By consuming about a half square of dark chocolate, you could have a longer workout than without the candy.
- Reduces Stress. When participants ate about the amount of a Hershey’s bar every day for two weeks, they saw a reduction in the amount of stress hormones in their body.
- Alleviates Coughing. A good night’s sleep could be achieved without being ruined by an annoying cough if the patient consumes a square of chocolate. However, be careful in how much chocolate you consume. There are about 30 milligrams of caffeine in a bar of dark chocolate, which is equivalent to drinking a cup of tea.
- Prevents Diabetes. In an Italian study, patients who consumed about three ounces of the decadence a day for 15 days saw a reduction in their insulin resistance, which is a risk factor for diabetes.
- Contains Loads of Antioxidants. These antioxidants help fight free radicals, which leads to the oxidation of the cells and is connected to the aging process as well as cancer.
- Boosts Brain Power. With the increase in blood flow provided by dark chocolate, this blood flows freely to the brain. This improves cognitive function, verbal fluency, and alertness. Therefore, consuming dark chocolate makes you smarter.
- Protects the Skin. Those bars of cocoa can protect the skin from sun-damage and increases skin density and hydration. When people eat dark chocolate, it takes twice as long to develop a sunburn. So if you’re going on vacation for Valentine’s Day, be sure to splurge on that dark chocolate!
- Assists in Weight Loss. Consuming dark chocolate can be more filling than consuming milk or white chocolate. Even better, it can reduce cravings for foods that can derail a healthy diet.
This Valentine’s Day, treat yourself to a rich, chocolatey superfood that can aid in your overall health. It’s not just a day to show appreciation for others, but also to show gratitude to oneself. Stretch, meditate, and indulge in some dark chocolate to show love to yourself and those you love. Have a happy Valentine’s Day!