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Dark chocolate: 9 reasons to indulge


Dark chocolate: 9 reasons to indulge

Pascale Côté

The mere mention of that word makes most of us salivate. They say "9 out 10 people love chocolate and the 10th person is probably lying".

Aside from its delectable taste and sublime texture, did you know that the benefits of chocolate (70% cocoa and up) are beyond incredible? As if you needed more reasons.

1) Chocolate can protect the heart and the arteries

Largely in part to is flavonoids contents, chocolate can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and strokes. Chocolate stimulates the production of nitric acid which helps lowering your blood pressure. This has also a positive impact on your blood circulation as well as prevent blood clots from forming.

2) Chocolate can act as an antidepressant

Science has proved it: chocolate is comforting, satisfying and joyful. When eaten, it releases dopamine (linked to pleasure) and helps the secretion of serotonin (linked to moods). A study has recently shown that people who eat cocoa on a daily basis are 10% more likely to be calmer. Finally, we can indulge and not feel guilty! 

3) Chocolate helps the memory and concentration

Highly concentrated in theine (amino acid), chocolate can help you concentrate and also reduce stress. It's also rich in antioxidants which can boost your memory and cognitive function.

4) Chocolate can help you sleep better

Lack of sleep often equates to a lack of magnesium which dark chocolates offers in spades. If eaten early enough, prior to sleep, chocolate can help rebalance your sleep patterns.

5) Chocolate can help your physical abilities

A daily 30g portion of dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more) can help boost your physical performance. A recent study has shown that chocolate release a particular flavonoid that helps dilates blood vessels which can reduce your oxygen consumption.

6) Chocolate is pregnancy friendly

Chocolate contains Theobromine which can help reduce the risk of eclampsia (major pregnancy complication) by facilitating blood circulation.

7) Chocolate can act as a stress reducer

If you'd like to reduce your anxiety and your stress, upping the quantity of magnesium in your diet can be just the thing. Chocolate contains 112mg of magnesium per 100g. It's a paramount mineral that helps reduce the negative effects of stress all the while, improves your mood and prevents water retention.

8) Chocolate can help fight nasty coughs

The quantity of theobromine found in chocolate can help fight most coughs.

9) Chocolate can fight the appearance of wrinkles  

Thanks to its antioxidants, dark chocolate can keep that body up and running.  It can be one of your strongest allies to enhance beauty. Both vitamin E and flavonoids can help your skin's density and hydration as well as improve your blood circulation. In fact, cocoa's oxidation properties are 2 to 3 times higher than green tea or wine.

So now that you have scientific reasoning, there are no more reasons why you should feel guilty: it's good for the body and the soul.