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Is Chocolate Good For You?

Even though we probably all indulged in a few forbidden sweeties over the holidays and are busy running between the gym and salad counters.... so we continue to look as amazingly good as we possibly can, that doesn't mean we have to cut out chocolate. It's good for you!

Chocolate is good for the skin and as a disease fighter—notably heart disease and stroke. A study of some 21,000 Brits showed that the top fifth of chocolate munchers were less likely to develop heart disease and 23% less likely to suffer a stroke.

And while dark chocolate is supposed to be best, most of the respondents in the above survey had milk chocolate and chocolate bars—so the theory is that it may be other elements (calcium/nuts, etc.) that are contributing to the good results. Read the story in The Guardian.

Chocolate is good for your skin

Drink cocoa for breakfast instead of coffee to reduce your propensity to wrinkle and makes the skin firm and supple. Cocoa has high levels of antioxidants that improve blood flow, protect skin from sun damage, help hydration and smoothness.  

Dark chocolate (probably the flavonols) is also very good for you in other forms and especially for your complexion, says Fitness Magazine. So enjoy an occasional dense dark chocolate bar and know that it's good for your complexion! There's also a theory that chocolate protects against UV rays (see Daily Mail).

Other foods that are good for the complexion

Another great healthy food to add to your munchies list would be walnuts. This is believed to be a superfood that helps with collagen production and improves skin's elasticity—check out Fitness. Try to keep the intake to only a handful per day, max. They're still fattening!

According to WebMD, the health of our skin cells is related to Vitamin A— and Vitamin A-rich dairy foods (low-fat versions!) is the best way to get them—especially if you have diabetes or thyroid issues. Yogurt, particularly Greek yogurt, is also believed to be excellent for skin health and firmness because of the protein and Vitamin A benefits. (See the WebMD slideshow for best skin foods)

Which high antioxidant fruits should you eat?

Another tip from WebMD is to indulge in all of 'nature's gifts from the garden--or your local farmer's market or produce aisle—plums, black and blueberries, and lovely ripe strawberries should be on your list whenever you see them—they have the “highest total antioxidant” capacity or value.


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