It’s surely a sad commentary on the state of our society when you need an excuse to do something as essential as eating chocolate. But if excuses are necessary, then it’s nice to know that Science is there to provide them. There are actually far more than I’ll write in this post, but I’m a bit short on time so here are three good reasons to reach for the choco, in no particular order.
Reason # 1: Chocolate is good for your teeth.
You may have noticed that I’ve switched to calling them “reasons” now, rather than “excuses”. Sounds more scientific.
So, forging ahead all scientific-like, chocolate is good for your teeth. No, really, I read it on the Internet. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, chocolate (cocoa, actually) contains a substance that helps prevent tooth decay. The magical element in question is called theobromine. According to research, theobromine helps to kill off a type of cavity-causing bacteria called streptococcus mutans. Ergo, eating chocolate prevents tooth decay. Of course, the sugar in chocolate has more or less the opposite effect, but nothing a quick brushing can’t take care of, right? Right? So repeat after me: “Chocolate today keeps the drill away”. Lame, yes, but I promised rationalizations, not poetry…
Reason # 2: Chocolate Lowers Your Cholestrol And Blood Pressure
Studies say that (what DON’T studies say? But as long as they’re telling us something we want to hear, let’s not be doubters, eh?), consumption of dark chocolate has been proven to help lower elevated blood pressure. Actually, my own blood pressure is low anyway, so this isn’t much good for me, but I’m sure some readers can use this one.
Also on the cardio-vascular front, eating dark chocolate regularly, has been shown in more than one scientific study to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) by as much as 10%. Cool.
I couldn’t find out anything about exactly how much chocolate is required to get these benefits, so better to eat as much as possible, just to be on the safe side.
Reason # 3: Chocolate will make you happy
Well, duh. Surely, eveyone here knew that already. But it’s nice to have some scientific evidence to validate our subjective experience, and here it is. Serotonin is a natural anti-depressant and you get a nice dose of that when you eat chocolate. In addition, eating some chocolate right now will quickly increase your body’s production of endorphins, thereby producing feelings of pleasure and euphoria.
If it feels good, eat it!
Not only does chocolate work fast, it lasts longer. “Longer than what?”, you ask. Well, a recent study, featured on the BBC news, compared the pleasure produced by eating chocolate to that produced by passionately kissing one’s significant other (no word on how it compares to kissing that hot stranger you were fantasizing about on the way home from work the other day). In this study, chocolate came out on top (ahemm), in that the pleasure lasted significantly longer with the chocolate than with the kiss. I think I’ll have to write more about this particular bit of scientific research later.
The point? If it feels good, eat it! Words to live by…
Stay tuned for more chocolate-flavored rationalizations in a later post.