New research shows that cocoa’s health benefits abound. Indulge in chocolate containing at least 65 percent cocoa every day. Extra points if it’s organically grown and fair-trade certified.
One study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that after consuming antioxidant-rich cocoa over a 12-week period, subjects showed decreased sensitivity to UV light, suggesting cocoa may have skin-protective qualities.
Epicatechin, the primary flavonoid in cocoa, may defend against cognitive decline, lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and—not that you needed a study to tell you—improve your mood.
By examining a meta-analysis including 2,013 participants, Australian scientists found that people with metabolic syndrome who ate dark chocolate every day had lower blood pressure and cholesterol.