Dark chocolate is good for you. Think of it as the kale of the desserts. It won’t replace broccoli, but it’s a decent decadent choice. It has fewer carbohydrates, half the sugar, four times the fiber and caffeine, and less sodium and cholesterol than its close cousin, milk chocolate. Here are 5 more reasons why it’s our go-to treat at the moment (besides being chock-full of vitamins – everything from ABCs to iron). Keep in mind these pluses are all about dark chocolate so reach for the labels that claim 65% of higher cocoa.
1. Heart Health
Dark chocolate contains cocoa phenols, which may help lower blood pressure and help blood flow. It may help prevent blood clots and hardening of arteries.
2. Mood Booster
Dark chocolate contains the chemical compound phenylethylamine (PEA), which helps the brain release the same chemical we create when we have (good) sex. There’s also enough caffeine to give a lift, but not a jolt.
3. Blood Sugar
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that may help reduce insulin resistance. It also has a low glycemic index, which means that it won’t cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.
4. Antioxidants Source
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, which protect your cells. They help everything from aging well to possibly preventing certain cancers. Skip the milk, though – drinking it with the chocolate may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants.
5. Happy Teeth
This sounds counter-intuitive, but dark chocolate may help harden tooth enamel, and lower the risk of getting cavities (you still have to brush your teeth and floss!) thanks to the theobromine. As an added benefit, theobromine is also a mild stimulant, which may help suppress coughing.