Mondays are always the hardest. So, why not change that horrid day of the week by treating yourself to sweet change; next week, start your day off with a bite-size piece of dark chocolate for breakfast!
Don’t think that’s the best way to change your Monday morning ritual? Well, new research in flavanols (a chemical component found in cocoa beans) suggests that this simple pleasure can have positive health effects, both mentally and physically.
Because Mondays always give off the added pressure of a new week, next time alleviate that added stress with a piece of dark chocolate. A recent Swiss study found that consuming dark chocolate can help suppress stress hormones in addition to relaxing the adrenal glands (which produce anxiety-related compounds). So next time the boss is barking off orders, don’t feel bad about reaching for that chocolate square…and possibly offering up the other half.
Leave it to Harvard scientists to find how chocolate can make the mind even sharper. A study tested on older adults with diabetes, hypertension, and/or impaired blood flow, had subjects drinking hot cocoa daily for a month and saw an 89 per cent improvement in blood flow. Results were also evident in memory and thinking tests. This could suggest that cocoa might be able to assist in reversing some of the mental changes that come with old age or even vascular disease.
But it’s not just the elderly that can really reap the benefits of eating chocolate. In 2014, a study found that when subjects (between the ages of 18 to 23) consumed an ounce of dark chocolate (more than 75% cocoa) every day for a month, they saw a decrease in blood pressure in addition to a relaxation of the arteries and the alleviation of stiffness.
Now that you've learned a few benefits of dark chocolate it's time to start eating dark chocolate.