Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Researchers found a reason to rationalize that binge. Turns out, chocolate may help older people keep their brains healthy and their thinking sharp, according to an August study published in the journal Neurology.
Study participants who drank two cups of cocoa daily for 30 days showed an 8.3 percent increase in blood flow to the brain, and they improved their scores on memory and thinking tests. Yay!
However, there's no need to base your rationalization on this one study. There are plenty of excuses provided by science, such as the finding that daily chocolate consumption may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in some high-risk patients, according to a 2012 study in the journal BMJ.
There's also the research into how chocolate can actually be slimming, so if you've always thought of chocolate as a fat-inducing food, you may want to rethink your stance on this tasty treat. One study found that people who eat chocolate regularly are more likely to be thinner than those who don't. People in the study who admitted to eating chocolate five times per week or more had a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) than those who ate chocolate less frequently, according to the 2012 study published by the JAMA network. Chocolate makes you skinny. In your face, Jillian Michaels!
I also hear that chocolate is excellent appetite control! Chocolate contains fiber, which we all know, is a natural appetite suppressant. So, if you give in to that chocolate craving, you could end up eating fewer calories than if you tried to avoid chocolate. That's right. Fiber, baby.
Here's some vintage fun to get you in the mood:
Ok, so maybe not ALL chocolate is good for you, and yes, we've all heard that the darker the chocolate, the better it is for your health. So, here are some ideas for consumption of healthier chocolate, inspired by Live Science!
Enjoy a little hot chocolate as the weather cools off! To boost healthiness of your hot cocoa, buy unsweetened powdered chocolate, and add your own sweetener, perhaps a natural one like Stevia or Xylitol. Also, keep it as dark as you can drink it. If you're feeling especially responsible, I guess you should skip the marshmallows...
If for some reason, you don't like eating dark chocolate or drinking it as a delicious hot winter beverage, you could sprinkle some in your oatmeal, cold cereal, or even in your morning (or evening) coffee!
You're welcome, World.
image via wikipedia