The Beauty Benefits of Dark Chocolate
The cliché says diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but we beg to differ. Dark chocolate claims the title as #bff through and through. It’s there for us when we’re happy, when we’re sad, when we’re hungry, and even when we just feel like venting about life. Now tell us, can you say the same thing about diamonds? That’s what we thought. So, in honor of National Chocolate Day, we’re sharing the beauty benefits of our beloved cocoa bean below!
IT’S RICH IN FLAVONOLS + ANTIOXIDANTS
Chocolate gets a bad rap as an unhealthy fat, but it’s not as bad for you as you may think. Cocoa beans are rich in a class of plant nutrients called flavonoids, which help protect plants from environmental toxins and help repair damage. Flavonols—the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and dark chocolate—boast antioxidant qualities. “You probably shouldn’t apply chocolate on your face, but feel free to have a piece,” says board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dendy Engelman. “Flavonols are antioxidants that can help your skin protect itself from free radicals.” Forgot about free radicals? Here’s a quick primer: Free radicals are formed by normal bodily processes such as breathing, as well as by environmental contaminants, like cigarette smoke. Once formed, these highly reactive molecules can begin to wreak havoc on skin such as breaking down collagen and elastin. If our body—or skin, for that matter—does not have enough antioxidants to fight back against free radicals, signs of aging—from wrinkles to fine lines—can crop up and/or become more apparent.
That said, this doesn’t give you the green light to shove six chocolate bars into your mouth in one sitting to avoid premature skin aging. There’s currently no established serving size of chocolate to help you reap the benefits it may offer, and more research is needed in this area, according to the Cleveland Clinic. In addition, not all dark chocolate bars are created equal. Some are filled with extra fat and calories—think: nuts, marshmallows, caramel, etc.—that would make them a poor choice for consumption. But if your sweet tooth craves dark chocolate a few times per week, don’t feel guilty. We’re right there with you! Just keep the portion size small, about one ounce.
Want to learn more about other antioxidant-rich foods to add to your diet? We’re sharing 9 fruits and veggies to munch on!