Mmmm…Dark Chocolate

Happy Valentine’s Day y’all (although in my honest opinion, it’s probably the most overrated holiday of the year). And whether you are single, taken, or “it’s complicated”, what is the day of Love without some chocolate.
Now before you go complaining about maintaining your figure and watching your calories, I just want to point out two things: a) It’s Valentine’s Day – you’re going to eat chocolate. Resign yourself to that fact and savor all the sweets your tongue will enjoy; and b) once you read about the health benefits of dark chocolate below, you’re not going to feel too guilty about indulging yourself.

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www.monash.edu.au

 

  1. It helps your heart. A key ingredient in dark chocolate are its flavonoids (which also give tea and berries their benefits) – these help in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
  2. It doesn’t make your blood sugar go crazy. Dark chocolate has a low glycemic index, so it won’t spike your blood sugar, and you’re not going to get the sugar “crash” you would get if you were eating other sweets.
  3. You can eat it when you’re on a diet. When you eat dark chocolate, you’re less likely to crave salty, fatty, sugary foods. A study has also shown that men who preferred dark chocolate had a lower body mass index and waist circumference than men who didn’t eat chocolate (hopefully that extends to girls too).
  4. It has less caffeine than coffee. If you’re looking for a quick caffeine fix but don’t want to go overboard with your coffee, reach for a piece of dark chocolate instead.
  5. You can eat it when you’re sick. Another ingredient in dark chocolate is theobromine, which can help to suppress coughs. It also hardens tooth your tooth enamel, so you won’t be getting cavities from dark chocolate.
  6. It makes you happy and less stressed. Duh. Actually though, dark chocolate helps release endorphins in your brain. And because It’s increasing blood flow in your brain, it’s probably making you smarter too.
  7. It’s like a fountain of youth. Well, not really. But the flavonoids also act like antioxidants that do a number of different jobs: like protecting your body from free radicals (which makes you age) and even some minimal sun protection.

For you to maximize the benefits, it’s best to go with dark chocolate that is 70% cocoa or more. My favourite is the “extreme mint” Lindt makes – so you can still have a minty fresh breath when you give a big smooch to a special someone!
Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you can stop exercising or that you have the go-head to eat a mountain of chocolate every day. But you can rest easy knowing that dark chocolate in moderation does a lot more good for you than bad.

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