11 Reasons Not To Feel Bad About Eating That Chocolate Bunny This Easter

Go on, have an ear.

Religious traditions aside, Easter is a time of egg painting, family gatherings, hunts, and of course eating candy. Few Easter celebrations would be complete without some delectable Cadbury Creme Eggs or a chocolate Easter bunny. And while you might feel guilty for "indulging" in some  of that chocolate, rest assured there are actually lots of health benefits to eating some of those candy-wrapped bunnies. 

Of course, like all things in life that seem too good to be true, there are caveats. The health benefits do not apply to milk and white chocolate. Minimally processed dark chocolate is the best option. And even though it is good for you, you still don't want to be eating a massive Easter bunny in one siting. It's still about moderation and mindful eating.

With that in mind, take a look at some of the benefits of eating chocolate this Easter. Happy Easter!

1. It helps protect your cardiovascular system.

The right types of dark chocolate can help keep your cardiovascular system and heart functioning properly thanks to the high levels of plant-based flavonols, the main type of flavanoid found in chocolate and cocoa.

2. It can help with brain function.

Women's Health reports two small squares of a chocolate with at least 60 percent cocoa solids can help your brain function. That's because chocolate contains polyphenols, a type of cocoa antioxidant, which can help increase blood flow to your brain, thus improving memory.  

3. It could prevent diabetes.

It sounds counterintuitive, but Medical News Today wrote about a study in the British Journal of Nutrition from 2016 which reported that those who ate around 24.8 grams of chocolate every day had lower insulin resistance levels and improved enzyme levels compared to those who did not eat chocolate every day.

4. It helps to better cholesterol levels.

Research has found that those who regularly eat dark chocolate have better cholesterol levels. The research came from San Diego State University and they attributed the findings to the fact that chocolate contains heart-healthy ingredients which reduce inflammation. 

5. Chocolate is good for your skin.

Forget what people say about chocolate causing acne. It is reported that the flavonols in dark chocolate can help protect your skin against sun damage. Sorry, but they're not quite strong enough to allow you to give up wearing sunscreen.

6. It's packed with antioxidants.

Best Health Mag points out that the antioxidants known as flavanoids in chocolate help to fight diseases. Furthermore, it is reported that chocolate has more of these flavanoids than any other food.

7. It reduces your risk of having a stroke.

A study from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found an inverse relationship between cocoa-rich chocolate consumption in women and strokes, according to Psychology Today. Eating 50 grams per week reduced "cerebral infarction risk by 12 percent, hemorrhagic stroke risk by 27 percent, and total stroke risk by 14 percent."

8. Chocolate reduces stress.

There's more to chocolate than simply feeling good when you're eating it. Live Science reports that regular chocolate consumption may be associated with lowered stress levels. 

9. It can help with circulation and your arteries.

Unlike some "treat" foods, chocolate can be good for your arteries. One study found that dark chocolate can actually restore flexibility in your arteries and prevent white blood cells from sticking to them. This reduces the chance of your arteries clogging, and it keeps your heart healthy.

10. It can help lower your blood pressure.

High blood pressure? You might want to try a nibble of chocolate. Studies have shown those who regularly ate dark chocolate that contained between 50 to 70 percent cocoa had lower blood pressure levels than those who didn't.

11. Chocolate helps to boost your memory.

Do you have a good memory and can remember random details from ages ago? It could be something to do with your chocolate consumption. Women's Health reported about a small study in Nature Neuroscience which found "a big memory boost among older adults who regularly drank an antioxidant-rich cocoa beverage." Psychology Today seconded the fact by discussing that a chocolate with 85 percent or more cocoa is good for your memory.

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