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It's OK to indulge

Published: Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 20:07

If I believed in soul mates, I would say they come swathed in a Hershey's wrapper.

Nothing quite matches the feeling of rounding a grocery aisle and locking "eyes" with the latest Pepperidge Farm cookie creation, or rummaging through your purse for keys and stumbling upon a forgotten Twix bar or Hershey's Kiss; just there, waiting to pick you up.

Chocolate is exciting, flexible and goes with everything. It also won't ignore you to play video games, and it will never wake up one morning and tell you it's over. In fact, it can't tell you anything because the beauty is, it doesn't have a mouth.

The truth is, chocolate is woman's best friend. Not just for the above reasons, but also for the wonderful things it does for the mind and body. It's no wonder why we crave it. Here's why it's OK to give in to the cravings.

Chocolate eases menstrual cycles

Serotonin is responsible for happy moods and the overall feeling of well-being.

For the seven to 10 days leading up to their menstrual periods, women experience lower levels of serotonin, thus explaining the blue moods. Eating chocolate reverses those moods because it increases serotonin in the brain, and replaces what was lost during pre-menstruation.

Besides serotonin, chocolate also contains important trace minerals, such as magnesium, which may be deficient in women prior to and during their menstrual cycles.

So don't feel bad for going on a chocolate binge when that time of the months comes around, because your body needs it. Besides, it's February, aka the best month for periods, because chocolate is everywhere in the most delightful packaging.

Chocolate is also good for your heart

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the foremost killer of women in the United States. Thankfully, the moderate consumption of chocolate can lower the risk of heart failure. In fact, research has shown that women who ate an average of one to two servings of dark or "high quality" chocolate per week had a 32 percent lower risk of developing heart failure. For more health benefits of chocolate for women, visit this website.

What kind of chocolate is best?

Dark chocolate is more beneficial because it is less processed than milk chocolate and contains more flavonoids. According to this website, flavonoids are found in most healthy foods. They can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, lower the risk of blood clots and improve blood flow to the brain and heart. This is great for everyone, not just women. Gentlemen buying chocolates for the ladies this Valentine's Day should also consider saving some for their later consumption.

Now go eat some

Now that I've given a few great reasons to eat chocolate, here is a website with tons of great recipes (vegan recipes, at that). And here's another. Happy Valentine's Day!

 

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