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Study Shows That Eating Dark Chocolate Reduces Stress

Dark Chocolate Gets Even Better

Let's face it, most of us don't need a reason to indulge in a little dark chocolate. But it's nice knowing that it helps lower blood pressure, soothes coughs, and increases blood flow to the heart. It seems like the antioxidants in chocolate are really working overtime to take care of us! It gets better too: a recent clinical trial found that eating dark chocolate lowers the levels of stress hormones in our bodies.

Researchers asked a group of participants who identified themselves as being "highly stressed" to eat an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for two weeks. (That's the size of an average Hershey bar, by the way.) At the end of the two-week period, the levels of stress hormones in the individuals had dropped significantly. I can definitely attest to eating a little bit of chocolate to cheer me up (PMS, anyone?), but this is the first study that has shown a physiological relationship between chocolate and stress hormones.

While I won't be using this study as a catalyst to eat a candy bar every day, I might allow myself a little chocolate pick-me-up, as needed.

Join The Conversation
shannonriver shannonriver 7 years
I'm with you, tuliprush--the darker, the better! Each day I eat a square of two of dark chocolate. When I buy it, it's at least 70% (I'm currently working on a 55% bar that my mom gave me). It keeps my sweet tooth satisfied because it's so much better than cheap candy. (Admittedly, it's hard to find cheap candy when you're vegan.) My husband once bought me Theo's 90% bar--soooo intense. I haven't gotten up to 100% yet, but I'll be sure to check out Pacari.
Vanonymous Vanonymous 7 years
I loooove dark chocolate. I always buy the Ghirardelli Intense Dark (72%) and have one or two squares after dinner.
tuliprush tuliprush 7 years
I love dark chocolate! But even more than dark chocolate, I love RAW chocolate. Before I discovered raw chocolate, I had 1 or 2 small squares (like 70 calories) a day of Green & Black's Organic 85% Dark Chocolate. 85%!! That is some bitter and deliciously dark chocolate!! I still have that from time to time, but now I tend to go with 2 brands: Pacari 100% Raw Dark Chocolate (this is definitely an acquired taste - - - it's like eating bakers chocolate, which is as healthy as you can get), and since it's raw, none of the nutrients/vitamins/antioxidants have been lost in the heating process. I also like Gnosis brand raw chocolate. Righteously Raw also does 4 versions of raw chocolate bars, ranging from 80 - 90% cocoa content.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
Dbaby. A little bit of dark choc is good for us. Like how black tea and coffee is good for us as long as we don't have 10 cups a day. This article is saying that a little bit (like a small square from a Cadbury's block) each day can be beneficial. Fit is not saying we should go out and stuff ourselves silly. I mean this is a health blog after all. :) Personally I do find that choc helps reduce my stress levels, but I only eat it once a day when I have exams, as a little treat you know? ;)
Dbaby Dbaby 7 years
Does anyone actually eat 70% cocoa chocolate? It is an acquired taste, it doesn't taste like anything Americans are used to. I think this kind of article is somewhat irresponsible because it seems to be shouting "Chocolate is good for you!!!" while underemphasizing the most important part-- only if the chocolate is 70% cocoa.
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