We already know that scientists have found that, for the most part, drinking coffee is really good for you. But what about chocolate, that luscious confection that we love so much in all its many forms?
Good news: Chocolate is really good for you, too. And while dark chocolate generally seems to work best, because it contains more of the powerful natural compounds that make chocolate beneficial to your health, most every form of chocolate has at least some positive effect. And this includes chocolate bars, chocolate sauce, hot chocolate, and all the rest.
Not convinced? Then check out these 7 reasons why you should consider making chocolate a part of your regular routine:
1. Chocolate may help prevent cancer
Researchers at Georgetown University found that when they treated cancer cells with pentamer--a compound naturally found in cocoa--they stopped spreading.
2. Chocolate can reduce the chance of a heart attack or stroke
According to researchers, eating chocolate can make your blood platelets clump together more slowly--helping to prevent blood clots and heart attacks. This is also good news because blood clots are a leading cause of strokes.
3. Chocolate can protect your skin from UV
Research conducted by scientists in Germany found that the natural flavonoids in dark chocolate protect women from the damaging effects of the sun's UV light.
4. Chocolate can make you smarter
In addition to protecting your skin from damaging UV rays from the sun, flavonoids also have been found to improve mental skills--particularly in math. (Good news for you cashiers, accountants, and CFOs!)
5. Chocolate may make you live longer
According to research conducted by researchers at Harvard University, you can add two years to your average life expectancy by eating chocolate.
6. Chocolate can help you lose weight
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen found that dark chocolate lessens cravings for fatty, salty, and sweet foods--helping to curb chocolate consumers' appetites.
7. Chocolate makes you feel better
Chocolate has been found to release the feel-good endorphins in your body that reduce anxiety and make you feel calmer--and better. So the next time you feel a little down or under the weather, just reach for that chocolate bar.