It’s National Dark Chocolate Day. If you love chocolate you have an excuse as its proven to have health benefits. Here are 5 great reasons to indulge:
- Dark Chocolate may help prevent heart disease and lower the risk of stroke
One of the biggest benefits that researchers tout is the role dark chocolate may play in improving heart health. Eating chocolate once per week has been associated with an 8 percent lower risk of blocked arteries. Research suggests that flavonoids in dark chocolate maintain heart health and 1oz a day is enough to see significant benefits.
- Dark Chocolate may boost your mood
Studies show that consuming dark chocolate with high percentages of cacao, such as 70 percent, may benefit your brain. There is research indicating that chocolate stimulates neural activity in areas of the brain associated with pleasure and reward, which in turn decreases stress and improves your mood. So get that feel good factor and indulge a little!
- Dark Chocolate can help with memory loss
Several studies have begun to show how chocolate can impact the brain. Memory and learning could be enhanced by chocolate consumption due to the powerful plant compounds in cacao beans which tend to accumulate in areas of the brain responsible for those functions.
- Dark Chocolate may reduce the risk of developing diabetes
Eating chocolate every day doesn’t sound like the best way to prevent diabetes, but studies have shown healthy amounts of dark chocolate rich in cacao could actually improve how the body metabolises glucose when eaten as part of a healthy diet. A recent study has shown that participants who rarely consume chocolate have almost twice the risk of developing diabetes five years down the road, compared with participants who indulged in dark chocolate at least once per week.
- Dark Chocolate may help with weight loss
Research suggests dark chocolate may play a role in controlling appetite, which in turn could help with weight loss. Eating a bit of dark chocolate before or after meals triggers hormones that signal to the brain you’re full. Of course, you shouldn’t consume too much or this may have a counter effect, but a little goes a long way.