People Who Eat More Chocolate Are Less Stressed, According to Science

The first human trials favor dark chocolate consumption for more than just stress.

bars of chocolate

Photo by Andy Lyons Cameraworks, LTD/AndyLyons

Photo by Andy Lyons Cameraworks, LTD/AndyLyons

This story first appeared in Real Simple.

This isn't the first time we're hearing that eating dark chocolate has some healthy perks, but this is the first time the effects of dark chocolate have been tested on people—and we like what researchers discovered.

Recent studies show that dark chocolate with a high concentration of cacao—at least 70%—can have positive effects on stress, inflammation, memory, mood, and even the immune system. Flavanoids, which are found in cacao, are anti-inflammatory. Other benefits include enhanced neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to adjust and create new connections which happen as we experience, learn, and adapt to new and everyday things.

We definitely don’t need more excuses to eat chocolate, but these results seem promising. To reap the benefits, make sure you’re reaching for dark chocolate labeled at least 70% cacao. Try melting some chocolate to make these Naked Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups or sneak some chips or chopped dark chocolate into these muffins.

RELATED: Heavenly Chocolate Recipes

For chocolate with even more benefits, we love Good Day Chocolate (and other snacks with benefits, too!).