Believe it or not chocolate in moderation can be good for your heart health. Research over the past couple of years has showed that chocolate can actually protect your cardiovascular system.

1.   The cocoa bean, found in dark chocolate, is known to be rich in a plant nutrient, known as flavonoids. Flavonoids can also be found in many fruits and vegetables. When foods that are packed with flavonoids are consumed, we benefit from the antioxidants, which help prevent damage to your body’s cells.

2.   Flavonoids have also been shown to improve heart health by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less likely to stick and form clots.

3.   Fat contained in chocolate comes from cocoa butter, which contains monounsaturated fats, which are good for keeping your cholesterol levels low.

4.   Research has also shown that consuming chocolate for heart health can reduce your risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart attack.

5.   Be careful not to eat too much chocolate because it can lead to weight gain, which can in return lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

6.   In order to get the heart health benefits of chocolate choose a dark chocolate with cocoa of 65% or more.

7.   Dark chocolate is also known to lessen your cravings for other sweet, salty, and fatty foods.

8.   When it comes to good heart health controlling your stress levels is important. Studies have shown that eating an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for two weeks, brought down stress levels significantly.

9.   Dark chocolate helps keep your blood vessels healthy and blood circulation good in order to protect against diabetes. The flavonoids in the dark chocolate will help reduce insulin by allowing your cells to function properly.

10.   There are many vitamins and minerals in dark chocolate, such as potassium, copper, magnesium, and iron. The copper and potassium help your heart health by preventing strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. The magnesium will help prevent diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.