I promised I would post this article for my MOM on Valentines Day. She sent it to me because she LOVES chocolate.
I do too- I just eat it in its raw form and add stevia for sweetness. (see my recipie)
5 Legit Ways to Justify Your Chocolate Habit
No need for excuses! Chocolate has real health benefits.
By Alison Ashton
Love chocolate? You’re in luck, because this a golden age for chocolate lovers. These days, you can find high-quality gourmet chocolate in any supermarket, and fancy artisanal chocolate is infused with all manner of ingredients, from bacon and smoked sea salt to quinoa and chilies.
Here’s even better news: Chocolate can be good for you, too. A growing body of research seems to point to a new health benefit every week.
What makes chocolate such a nutritional star? It contains antioxidants known as flavones—the same health-boosting compounds found in blueberries, red wine and green tea. Here are five reasons why you can feel good about indulging in your favorite treat.
1. Stay smart
Chocolate’s antioxidants help trigger the growth of new blood vessels and brain cells to nourish your noggin and prevent memory loss. In one study, drinking cocoa daily actually improved mild cognitive impairment in elderly test subjects.
And an informal survey in the New England Journal of Medicine found that countries with the highest per-capita chocolate consumption—Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark—also produce more Nobel Prize laureates per capita. How much chocolate do you need to eat to win a Nobel Prize? The Swiss nibble an average of 1 ounce a day.
2. Help your heart
Eating chocolate—especially dark chocolate—may lower your risk of heart disease by a whopping 37% and stroke by 29%. How? Flavnols in dark chocolate help relax your blood vessels to lower blood pressure. They also help lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) and boost beneficial HDL cholesterol.
3. Lower diabetes risk
The flavanols in chocolate also help reduce insulin resistance to slash your risk of diabetes by 31%. And according to one study, if you already have type 2 diabetes, eating chocolate may help you dodge heart disease, an all-too-common diabetes complication.
4. Get glowing skin
The notion that chocolate causes acne is a myth. In fact, a number of studies have found that flavanols in chocolate nourish healthy skin by increasing blood flow and protecting skin from sun damage.
5. Stay slim
If you think chocolate is fattening, think again. A University of California, San Diego, study found that people who eat modest amounts of chocolate most days of the week are slimmer than folks who eat chocolate less often. And, no, the chocolate eaters don’t eat less overall or exercise more than chocolate eaters.
But the key to reaping chocolate’s benefits is moderation. Chocolate is caloric stuff—50-170 calories per ounce, depending on the variety. Most experts recommend eating no more than 1¾ ounces a day.