Forget death by chocolate. More and more research is showing that high quality, dark chocolate (or cocoa or cacao) may actually improve your health. Here are 13 reasons to love chocolate:
1. Chocolate, cocoa, and cacao are high in the mineral magnesium which is essential for over 500 functions in your body, including: heart health and muscle function.
2. Chocolate may reduce the risk of heart failure. Murray Mittleman and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School studied data on 31,823 middle-aged and elderly Swedish women to assess the relationship between chocolate and heart failure. The women who consumed an average of one to two servings (that’s a fairly small amount) of high-quality, cocoa-rich chocolate per week had a 32 percent lower risk of experiencing heart failure. Those women who ate one to three servings a month had a 26 percent lower risk of heart failure. See my article “Nutrient Slashes Risk of Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Osteoporosis” for more information about how magnesium reduces the risk of many illnesses.
3. Cocoa and cacao contain plant nutrients called proanthocyanidins. These phytonutrients have been shown in research to protect against carcinogens and nervous system toxins.
4. It lowers blood pressure in people whose blood pressure is high, according to a meta-analysis study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Keep reading to discover the surprising benefits of chocolate for the brain…