Eight Guilt Free Reasons to Eat Chocolate

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Good news, chocolate lovers: Dark chocolate is good for your health — as long as you consume it in moderation.

The U.S. chocolate store industry pulls in an estimated $895 million in annual revenue, and dark chocolate accounts for a large portion of these earnings. In fact, from 2008 to 2013, the industry grew around 3.4% every year — an increase that might have to do with everyone figuring out that dark chocolate has many health benefits.

So go ahead, purchase a couple dark chocolate gift baskets from your favorite luxury chocolates store and have at it as you read through the reasons why its good for you.

Boost Your Mood: Feeling a bit down today? Snuggling up with some gourmet chocolates may be just what you need, as long as you stay away from the white and milk chocolate flavors. A 2013 study recently found that eating 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate made research subjects feel more calm and serene than those who didn’t.

Heart Healthy: Don’t just buy Valentines chocolates or Christmas chocolates — you should be buying this stuff on a regular basis to reduce your risk of heart failure by 32%, according to a 2010 study. But remember to limit your intake.

Cut Weight: Have a family member who is struggling to lose weight? Send chocolates.Dark chocolate will make you feel more full when consumed in small amounts after a meal because it is full of monounsaturated fatty acids (you want those ones!).

Reduce Cravings: Fight your sweet tooth with sweets? Seems silly, but one to two squares of dark luxury chocolates has actually reported to reduce binge eating in those struggling to lose weight.

Skin Rejuvenation: Thanks to cocoa beans, which grow on cocoa trees that live to be up to 200 years old, your skin will look smoother in appearance. Chocolate (and red wine) has one of the highest levels of antioxidants, which can protect against UV radiation.

Regulates Insulin and Blood Pressure: You would think your insulin levels would skyrocket after eating dark chocolate, but that would only happen if you consumed milk chocolate (which contains added milk and sugar). Have a couple squares to lower your blood pressure as well.

Improve Concentration: Luxury chocolates can increase serotonin and endorphin levels, which boost your ability to concentrate on tasks. So tomorrow morning, reach for a good quality chocolate bar instead of that cup of coffee.

Better Brain: Here’s to getting older! According to a 2013 study, chocolate may help improve your critical thinking skills and overall brain health. In the study, those who drank hot chocolate every morning had improved blood flow.

After reading through this, will you really need to be asked twice to enjoy a piece of delicious dark chocolate?
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