Listen up, ladies: Eating chocolate may decrease the stress response. Ooh…got your attention didn’t I? You heard right, a small amount of dark chocolate a day can keep stress at bay.
According to a recent study done at the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced the levels of stress hormones in highly stressed people. Dang! That sounds like the cure for me.
Dark chocolate is rich in bioactive compounds. It contains flavonols–antioxidants found in dark vegetables. Dark chocolate has eight times more antioxidants than do strawberries. Since dark chocolate is only sugar and fat mixed with cacao, or “chocolate liquor“–it’s a purer form than milk chocolate, white chocolate, or sweet chocolate. Some other health benefits of dark chocolate:
- lowers blood pressure
- balances some hormones
- lowers cholesterol
- stimulates production of phenylethylamine (PEA), which is also produced during female orgasm, and therefore gives feelings of pleasure
Now I know what you’re thinking: If a little dark chocolate is good, then a five pound block is better, right? No, no, no…too much sugar, and remember that the chocolate we eat is also mixed with fat, so the recommendation is an ounce and a half per day (the picture to the right shows a 1.5 oz. bar). That’s it. A little chocolate every day, less stress, more pleasure–what more could you need?