We all know quinoa is good for you... but quinoa is hardly a guilty pleasure, is it? While we love some quinoa in our salads… today, we want to talk about one of the most popular guilty pleasures — chocolate. It’s true what they say, everything is good in moderation, even this sweet delight. The popular go-to for those of us that cave into PMS craving (it’s a thing, okay!), it often leaves a bitter-sweet feeling once you’re done indulging since you feel like you broke some sacred diet rules. However, those bitter-sweet days are over...
Oh yeah, we’re about to remove the guilt factor from the equation:
Chocolate keeps your heart healthy
Do it for the heart! The latest research backs up claims that chocolate has cardiovascular benefits: In a 9-year Swedish study of more than 31,000 women, those who ate one or two servings of dark chocolate each week cut their risk for heart failure by as much as a third. Just make sure the chocolate you’re buying has a higher amount of cocoa than milk, and your heart will thank you for it.
It helps you lose weight
We kid you not! Dark chocolate is far more filling, so you’ll feel satiated and full by eating less of it than you would by eating it’s lighter counterpart. This way, dark chocolate lessens cravings for sweet, salty, and fatty foods — you could call it a triple threat!
It reduces stress
Swiss scientists found that when very anxious people ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for two weeks, their stress hormone levels were significantly reduced, and the metabolic effects of stress were partially reduced. That’s why chocolate is such a great break-up food (especially chocolate ice cream).
It protects you against the sun
Chocolate is full of flavanols, which have sun-protecting powers. Sounds odd, we know, but it’s actually true. The higher your flavanol intake, the longer it will take you to develop a sunburn. This doesn’t mean you’re allowed to skip on sunscreen, it just means you get to enjoy more chocolate.
It keeps you smart
We already told you chocolate reduces stress, but it will also boost your brain power when you really need it. Research shows that drinking cocoa rich in flavanols boosts blood flow to key parts of the brain for 2 to 3 hours, which could improve performance and alertness in the short term.
We’re done. Now go get some chocolate!