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Backed Up by Science: 5 Health Benefits of Chocolate

We all have our own preferences when it comes to comfort food—some people turn to warm dishes like mashed potatoes or soup, while others turn to sugar.

 

Chocolate, especially, is a yummy sweet that’s loved by many, and besides it being good for your taste buds, it’s also good for your health. Check out these five benefits of chocolate that’ll easily keep you guilt-free this Valentine’s Day.


Chocolate Candies
Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

1.  Vascular health aid

Considering February is also Heart Health Awareness Month, it seems fitting that consuming chocolate can lead to your boosting heart health.

Not only does the tasty snack provide inflammation-fighting properties, which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but also it lowers both blood pressure and “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Show your heart some love when you find yourself in the candy aisle and stock up with your chocolatey faves!


Spoon Csu-Blueberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Brook Buchan / Spoon

2.  Craving kicker

The last thing you’d probably think chocolate could benefit is your diet, but yes, it’s true—having a bite or two of chocolate (especially dark) can help keep you fuller due to its high mineral contents. It can also lessen your cravings for other sweet, salty or fatty foods… which may help you lose weight all around!


M&M\'S
Christin Urso / Spoon

3.  Brain power

The next time you’re under pressure on a school assignment or project, have a piece of chocolate because doing so can increase blood flow to key parts of the brain for multiple hours.

More blood flow means both your alertness and performance can also improve in the short term—translation: chocolate can actually make you smarter!


Donuts
Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

4.  Stress reducer

Have you ever noticed that when you get overwhelmed or anxious, you search for some chocolate? That’s because chocolate is known as peoples’ go-to when times get tough.

The reason: chocolate helps reduce stress-related hormone levels (such as cortisol) that can otherwise be harmful to your body. I can personally testify that there’s no shame in having an emergency chocolate stash for moments like these.


Chocolate Chips
Christin Urso / Spoon

5.  Mood booster

It’s no secret that chocolate almost always makes us feel better, and there’s a reason why. When we enjoy the food we’re eating, we’re also enjoying life. If you try to think of all the times when eating chocolate made you feel better, you may run out of fingers to count on.

So go on and unwrap that piece of chocolate because you’re really unwrapping a piece of happiness… yes please!


Photo courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Now that we’ve unwrapped the truth about chocolate, satisfy your sweet tooth proudly this Valentine’s Day—you and your health are worth it!

 

Sources: 12

| 2018-20 Club President/Campus Correspondent | Hailey Seipel is a senior at Winona State University who is studying Applied & Professional Writing and Journalism. She has been passionate about writing ever since she was little, and a dream of hers is to author poetry, sci-fi and romance novels. Until then, she is interested in working as a creative/blog writer, technical editor or project coordinator after graduating. In her free time, Hailey enjoys listening to music and reading leisurely.
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