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Chocolate is often thought of as a guilty pleasure. You know what they say: If something tastes good, it probably isn’t good for you.
Now, we’ve all seen those articles claiming that chocolate can be beneficial to your health. But is that true? Or are people with a sweet tooth just trying to justify their cravings?
Well, chocoholics rejoice: Chocolate really is good for you.
According to science-backed research, chocolate (specifically dark chocolate, containing 65 percent or more cocoa) can be a healthy addition to your diet, when consumed in moderation. If you need an excuse to eat that leftover Easter candy, look no further. Here are a few proven benefits of eating chocolate.
1. It’s good for your heart.
We already know that chocolate helps mend a broken heart. But did you know it can actually help prevent heart disease?
According to Verywell Fit, dark chocolate can lower your LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels by up to 10 percent, reducing the amount of stress on your heart. Eating just one small bar every day can benefit your cardiovascular system and keep your heart happy (in more ways than one!).
2. It’s a source of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are found in many fruits and vegetables. They protect cells from damage and lower your risk of certain infections and diseases. Studies have shown that dark chocolate can have better antioxidant effects than produce, because it’s loaded with organic compounds like polyphenols, flavanols and catechin.
Protecting your body from oxidative stress, which occurs when there’s an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in your body, can be as simple as consuming dark chocolate on a regular basis.
3. It can improve blood flow.
According to Healthline, chocolate can improve blood flow in many parts of the body, like the arteries (lowering blood pressure), the skin (protecting it from sun damage), and the brain (boosting brain function).
Healthier blood flow, better skin, and a clearer mind? Why wouldn’t you want to add some extra chocolate to your diet?
4. It’s packed with nutrients.
Sure, chocolate may contain sugar and fat, but it offers some solid nutritional value, too. A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70 percent cocoa contains 10 grams of fiber, 567 mg of potassium, 35 percent of your recommended daily intake of iron, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, manganese, and other essential nutrients.
5. It’s a proven pick-me-up.
We all know eating chocolate puts you in a better mood (hello, serotonin!), but it can also give you a little boost of energy. The cocoa beans used to produce chocolate are a natural source of theobromine, caffeine, and other stimulants. It may not be as powerful as your morning cup of coffee, but a serving of chocolate can certainly help perk you up when you hit that afternoon slump.
6. It tastes like heaven.
Maybe we’re biased, but there’s nothing like sharing a tasty chocolate treat with good friends (or not sharing...we’re not judging!).
Ready to get your fix? Stop by The Cookie Cups or place a catering order to try out our chocolate-based cups. Our Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Caramel, Fudge Brownie, and Banana Chocolate Chunk cups pack tons of chocolate flavor into a bite-sized package -- no guilt involved!