There are so many health benefits for dark chocolate!
It lowers not only blood pressure, but also lowers cholesterol.
Chocolate stimulates endorphins which are feelings of pleasure + happiness. (Hmm...maybe why depressed people cling to eating chocolate!)
Serotonin is also in chocolate, which is an anti-depressant.
Flavonoids are abundant in dark chocolate. These flavonoids act as antioxidants which protects the body from aging. Compared to strawberries, dark chocolate as eight times as many antioxidants. Flavonoids also increase blood flow to your brain - so you're much more on your toes. Flavonoids also reduce cell damage, which decreases tumor growth chances (cancer fighter!)
Traces of caffeine is found in dark chocolate...keeps you stimulated.
Epicatechin can be found in dark chocolate, which improves memory.
Magnesium found in dark chocolate improves and helps the regulation of the digestive, neurological, and cardiovascular system. (Wow!)
Interesting fact from Healthy Diaries: "Jeanne Calment, the world's longest-lived person lived to the age of 122 and many ascribed her longevity in part to her consumption of 2.5 pounds of dark chocolate a week." Interesting, right?
And please do not replace healthy foods for chocolate. While chocolate IS healthy - remember, moderation is key. If you currently eat a sweet treat in your diet - switch it up for a piece of dark chocolate. (Note - I said a piece...not a whole chocolate bar.) One ounce per day is plenty.