The health benefits of our friend chocolate

As if chocolate, wasn't already our best friend. Giving us joy and comfort through the good times and the bad. Making us smile and sometimes even punch the air with excitement (or is that just me?).

The good news is, there is even more to chocolate than those fleeting moments of joy. Researchers have discovered health benefits that will have you even more in love with chocolate than ever before (if that's possible).

The real heroes in chocolate are flavonoids; they are antioxidants that increase the flexibility of veins and arteries. In a Swedish study, 31,000 women ate one to two servings of dark chocolate each week for over nine years. The outcome, a third of the women, cut their risk of heart failure. 

Swedish research reference 

In another study, researchers at Swinburne University tested people drinking varying polyphenols measurements. The darker the chocolate, the higher the polyphenol levels are found.  Seventy-two men and women aged 40-65 years took part in the study, those who drank the darker chocolate (containing, the higher levels of polyphenols) reported greater calmness and contentedness than either of the other drink mixes.

Swinburne research reference

To reap the most benefit out of chocolate purity is the key, the darker the chocolate, the better for you it is.

The only bad news here is that, like anything that's good for us, moderation still applies.

But at least we know, our friend chocolate, is both fun and healthy- the best combination.

Image credit: Charisse Kenion