People everywhere love chocolate of every kind. Not only is it a tasty treat for many, chocolate also boasts certain health benefits when consumed in moderation. Dark chocolate — the healthiest variety — promotes physical health and even functions as an aid for combatting foul moods and stress.

Stress Reduction

Chocolate can be used, in appropriate quantities, as one tool for stress reduction. Dark chocolate has been found to improve mood by increasing serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain. According to research published in 2009 in the journal “Proteome Research” and reported by “The Huffington Post”, eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate daily for two weeks is associated with lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. “Psychology Today” even reports pregnant women who eat more chocolate during pregnancy give birth to more stress-free babies.

Choose Dark

Darker chocolate has lower quantities of unhealthy ingredients, such as fat and sugar, than milk chocolate. Dark chocolate that is at least 70 percent cocoa is the most beneficial variety, and it packs loads of nutritious antioxidants. It even has numerous health-promoting properties that other kinds of chocolate do not contain; for instance, dark chocolate has far more antioxidants and flavonoids than milk or white chocolate.

Other Health Benefits

The flavonoids in dark chocolate — the antioxidant compounds that give it its bittersweet taste — promote a variety of cardiovascular benefits. The antioxidants in dark chocolate can also lower blood pressure, increase good cholesterol, decrease oxidation of bad cholesterol, which leads to plaque accumulation in the arteries, and promote blood sugar regulation. Dark chocolate can also lengthen the time it takes blood to clot and increase healthy blood flow by making blood vessels more elastic.


Practice moderation with your chocolate consumption. Even if you opt for the healthier dark variety, it doesn’t take much to reap the nutritional benefits.


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