The Guilty Pleasure Food That Reduces Stress & Inflammation

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It's your lucky day, dark chocolate lovers. According to new findings, chocolate with a high concentration of cacao—at least 70 percent—might boost our immunity, mood, and memory.

While we've long known that dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids—an antioxidant that can help regulate digestion, reduce anxiety, and even boost sexual health—this is one of the first times that the specific effects of chocolate have been tested on humans.

"This is the first time that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time, and are encouraged by the findings," says Lee S. Berk, DrPH, a researcher involved in the presentation.

The findings refer to pilot trials that found that dark chocolate boosts cellular immune response and enhances neuroplasticity, which could improve mood and memory. According to the finding's presenters, the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, though more research still needs to be done to back up these claims.

Go forth and break yourself off another square.

Want to take your nighttime chocolate fix up a notch? Check out this oh-so-easy recipe for turmeric chocolate truffles.

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