So here is a list of reasons to make you happy to reach for that bar of Dairymilk.
Chocolate decreases stroke risk
Chocolate contains flavonoids, whose antioxidant properties help fight strokes and dark chocolate shields cells in your brain, protecting it from damage caused by stroke.
Chocolate reduces the likelihood of a heart attack
Studies show that eating chocolate prevents blood clots, which in turn reduces the risk of heart attacks. Blood platelets clump together more slowly in chocolate eaters, keeping your heart running smooth like chocolate.
Chocolate protects against blood inflammation
About 6.7 grams of dark chocolate per day decreases the risk of heart disease. A piece of dark chocolate a day keeps the blood inflammation-inducing proteins away, just like your mother always told you.
Chocolate helps with math
Flavanols found in chocolate help with mental math. People have an easier time counting backwards after drinking a cup of hot chocolate than without the cocoa. Who knew that bingeing on chocolate coming up to exam time actually worked?
Chocolate may prevent cancer
Cocoa contains a compound called pentameric procyanidin, which disrupts cancer cells’ ability to spread, the proteins necessary for cancer growth are suppressed and the cells stop dividing.
Chocolate reduces the risk of diabetes
The University of L’Aquila, in Italy, found that eating chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, which reduces the risk of diabetes.
Chocolate is good for your skin
Flavonoids found in dark chocolate protect women’s skin from the sun’s UV rays. But that doesn’t mean you can skip the sunscreen.
Chocolate can control coughs
The most delicious way to kick your cough is chocolate. One of the sweet’s chemical components, theobromine, reduces the activity of the vagus nerve, the part of the brain that triggers coughing fits.
Chocolate improves blood flow
A fortnight of chocolate face-stuffing can speed up blood flow through the middle cerebral arteries. In other words, more chocolate means more blood to your brain.
Chocolate makes you live longer
Harvard researchers found that eating chocolate actually adds two years to your life expectancy.
If that doesn’t make you happier about that chocolate brownie I don’t know what will.
(Original text published in AnFocal.ie 16 October 2012 http://www.anfocal.ie/lifestyle/5863/why-eating-chocolate-can-be-good-for-you)