That’s right – it’s Valentine’s season. And we’ve found a few reasons why you should treat yourself to a box of dark chocolates just for the occasion!
And, you know, maybe stock up on ‘em too the day after when all the candy goes on sale because these are some seriously good benefits. Plus, chocolate!
Dark Chocolate’s Packed with Vitamins and Minerals
Betcha didn’t know you could get a few of your daily nutrients by eating chocolate, but you totally can! Dark chocolate made up of 70-85% cocoa contains iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. It even contains a decent amount of soluble fiber.
It’s Good for Your Brain…
One study found that dark chocolate increases and improves blood flow to the brain. Another found that it can help improve cognitive function, verbal fluency, and several risk factors for disease. It also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the falling-in-love chemical your brain creates, and eating it encourages your brain to release endorphins, making you feel happier.
And Your Heart!
Believe it or not, eating a small amount of dark chocolate 2-3 times a week can help lower your blood pressure. There are certain compounds in the stuff that appear to be very protective against the oxidation of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol). And because of this, several studies have shown lowered risks of calcified plaque in arteries as well as cardiovascular-related diseases and death.
It Has Tons of Antioxidants
Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants. Antioxidants, of course, are those little guys that help rid your body of free radicals that cause oxidative damage to cells. That oxidative damage has been implicated in the aging process and may also be a cause of cancer, sooo grab yourself some dark chocolate!
And May Even Protect Your Skin Against the Sun
Some of the bioactive compounds in dark chocolate have even been linked to skin protection! Flavonols, which are found in dark chocolate, can protect against sun-induced damage by improving blood flow to the skin as well as an increasing skin density and hydration. So, hey, here’s a health goal you can set for yourself this year: enjoy a bit of dark chocolate on the beach!
Well guys, writing this blog has gotten my mouth watering for an 80% cocoa dark chocolate bar with sea salt I had a while back. What’s your favorite way to indulge in a taste of dark chocolate? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Kat Wiseman is a content writer for Span Enterprises in Rock Hill, SC. She has a B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Winthrop University and her RYT 200 from Yoga Alliance. When she's not writing or doing yoga, she enjoys Netflix marathons, mystery novels, and being at the beach.