Researchers have found it reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer and even boosts fertility.
But beware, not all chocolates are created equal. The key, apparently is a high concentration of cocoa.
Cocoa beans are packed with antioxidant polyphenols which the experts believe help to reduce the risk of heart disease and may also help fight cancer.
Red wine in moderation and orange juice are already known to have similar properties.
Teresa McCarney, of Northern Ireland’s College of Agriculture, said: “A 50g piece of dark chocolate has the same level of antioxidants as two glasses of wine. Chocolate contains iron for healthy blood, and zinc which helps boost the immune system and even fertility levels.”
There’s a good reason we crave chocolate when we’re down. Its tryptophan ups mood-lifting serotonin in the brain, says Leah Sherman, a naturopathic physician in Portland, Oregon.
One study found that even the taste, texture, and smell make us happy.
University of Copenhagen researchers found that subjects felt fuller and craved fewer sweet, salty, and fatty foods when they snacked on chocolate (yes!). Be sure to choose dark chocolate: Its low glycemic index steadies blood sugar levels, cutting cravings.