Skip Nav

The Benefits of Dark Chocolate

5 Healthy Reasons to Eat Valentine's Day Chocolate

It's almost Valentine's Day, and that may mean you've got chocolate on your mind. Though you may be fearing the amount of calories in those heart-shaped boxes, there are many reasons to love Valentine's Day sweet treats. In fact, here are five healthy reasons to eat dark chocolate.

  1. It helps you exercise longer: A recent study found that eating a tiny amount of dark chocolate before a workout helps fight fatigue, which means you can go that much further during your workout. The amount that worked in the study was tiny — just half a square — but if it's good quality chocolate, a small square will go a long way.
  2. It's stress relieving: And not just when you're PMSing. A study found that when highly stressed participants ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate (the equivalent of a Hershey's bar) a day for two weeks, the level of stress hormones in their bodies dropped significantly. While eating a candy bar a day can contribute to a whole new set of stresses if you're watching your weight, it's nice to know that dark chocolate has a measurable effect on stress levels.
  3. It's heart-healthy: A study found that dark chocolate increases blood flow, which helps keep your ticker in top shape. Those who ate a small amount of chocolate a day had increased blood flow due to more-dilated blood vessels as well as better heart function.
  4. It's good when you're sick: If you can't get the rest you need because of a nagging cough, try dark chocolate. The theobromine, an ingredient in dark chocolate, has been proven to suppress a cough, but just be careful — if you're trying to go to sleep, remember that a dark chocolate Hershey's bar has 30 milligrams of caffeine, which is the equivalent to a cup of tea.
  5. It lowers blood pressure: Increasing blood flow also helps your heart in another way. A study found that eating a small square of dark chocolate a day helps regulate your blood pressure by increasing blood flow as well as dilating blood vessels and releasing nitric oxide. If you're managing your blood pressure levels, a daily, small dose of dark chocolate may help.

Source: Flickr User el patojo

Latest

POPSUGAR Selfie : Get the new app!

+