February 11, 2013

3 Surprising Health Benefits of Chocolate

Good news all you chocoholics, the rumors are true! Chocolate has, in fact, been proven to have some serious health benefits! (Hallelujah!) So you’ll no longer need to use that serious heartache as an excuse to bury your face in a box of Russell Stovers. Ah, but there is a catch! (Unfortunately…) You’ll need to stick to a dark chocolate with a least 70 percent cacao- This little miracle is packed with healthy chemicals like flavonoids and theobromine, (which is where the healthy part comes in). In order to reap the health benefits you should only indulge in 7 ounces of dark chocolate each week. But don’t worry, you’ll soon find out why that’s more than enough! Here are some surprising benefits of this tasty treat!

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Appetite Suppressant

Yes you heard me! That little piece of heaven you’ve been looking for an excuse to eat even has the ability to keep those cravings at bay. Sounds too good to be true right? Because dark chocolate is rich in fiber, it may be just what you need to put that cheeseburger down. So next time you find yourself turning into to the Micky D’s parking lot, slap yourself on the hand (lightly, of course) and find yourself something rich and dark instead (i.e.–dark chocolate). You may just save yourself from some empty calories which will be totally worth it come bikini season!

Protect your Skin

Another surprising fact on our list of chocolatey health benefits! Because of the antioxidant, Flavonoid, dark chocolate can actually help protect skin from damaging UV Rays. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself here, though, chocolate should never be used in place of sunscreen. (Maybe one day, *sigh*.)

Quiet An Annoying Cough

Getting rid of a cough can seem impossible, especially during the winter months. There’s always some allergen blowing in the wind coming to ruin our lives. (Feels like it, at least!) One study found that dark chocolate had the same cough suppressing qualities as codeine without the negative side affects. We can thank the Theobromine that it contains for this one! This chemical may suppress activity in a part of the brain called the vagus nerve which is 100 percent responsible for that pesky cough you’ve acquired.

Though these three uses are quite the shocker, the list of health benefits goes on and on. Chocolate has been linked to healthier hearts, increased intelligence, reduced stress, increased mood, decreased chance of stroke and diabetes, improved vision, and improved blood flow. For more information, check out Women’s Health Magazine’s article, “9 Health Benefits Of Chocolate.”

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