Eating healthy is tough stuff. Especially when you’re dealing with cravings. However, a recent study discovered that eating just one serving of dark chocolate will not only satiate your sweet tooth, but also help curb those sweet and salty cravings (like that 3pm bag of chips) all day long. And if that’s not reason enough to convince you to add a daily dark chocolate treat to your daily diet, here are 10 more health benefits!
1. PMS relief! Dark chocolate contains magnesium, which can help alleviate some typical PMS symptoms, like cramps, water retention, fatigue, depression, and irritability.
2. There’s a reason to choose dark over milk chocolate. Studies show that those who eat dark chocolate compared to milk chocolate eaters, eat 15% fewer calories throughout the rest of the day without even trying, and have fewer cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods.
3. Dark chocolate has been shown to significantly reduce the levels of stress hormones and correct imbalances in the body related to stress. Which is especially great because a high level of stress hormones is linked to more belly fat.
4. Dark chocolate has a light caffeine kick. Just one ounce of 70% dark chocolate contains 40 mg of caffeine. Much less than the average cup of coffee which is 200 mg, but still perfect for an afternoon perk-me-up.
5. This is awesome: Heart-attack survivors who added dark chocolate to their diet just twice a week over a two-year period cut their risk of dying from heart disease threefold.
6. That might be because dark chocolate contains natural substances that prevent cholesterol from sticking to your artery walls; therefore reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
7. Plus, the antioxidants in cocoa trigger the walls of your blood vessels to relax, lowering blood, pressure and improving circulation. The result is better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to every cell.
8. The type of saturated fat isn’t what you’re expecting. Unlike the artery-clogging saturated fat of burgers or whole milk, dark chocolate contains a unique variety called stearic acid. The majority of this is converted in the body to oleic acid, which is a heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid or “MUFA.”
9. Dark chocolate contains the same type of antioxidants that are also found in red wine and tea and have been shown to boost brain activity.
10. Dark chocolate contains unique natural substances, including some that create a sense of euphoria, similar to the feeling of being in love! So it’s no wonder why we feel so good when indulging in a bite.
Did any of these facts surprise you? Will you be adding dark chocolate to your diet?!