13 Things You Didn’t Know Chocolate Could Do
Not like you needed another reason to love chocolate anyway
On September 13, 1857, Milton Snavely Hershey was born in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. While the date itself might not immediately occur to most as historic, that distinct last name is a dead giveaway. Hershey is “the Chocolate King,” the real life Willy Wonka. You may not know him, but we’re sure you know about (and most likely fans of) his glorious contribution to the world. “Hershey” and “chocolate” are practically synonymous, and his birthday, fittingly declared International Chocolate Day.
In celebration of every sweet tooth’s favorite treat (though let’s keep it real: everyday may as well be Chocolate Day), we’re giving you 13 amazing things you didn’t know chocolate could do. A deliciously sinful treat that’s also good for you? What are the odds?
1. GIVES YOUR BRAIN AN EXTRA BOOST
That Kit-Kat tagline isn’t just catchy, it’s valid. TV commercials by the brand typically feature an office worker slaving away behind a desk, running out of fuel, taking a Kit-Kat break and voila! coming back strong with a mind that’s more awake.
Backed by over 40 years of research, Psychologist Merrill Elias found that people who eat dark chocolate at least once a week perform better cognitively. This means better working memory, scanning and tracking abilities, and abstract reasoning.
2. MAKES THAT TIME OF THE MONTH EASIER TO BARE
Ladies, that chocolate craving on your period isn’t a coincidence. Dark chocolate is known for easing menstrual symptoms by contributing to the release of endorphins, the hormone that acts as the body’s natural pain reliever.
3. IT’S A DELICIOUS FORM OF STRESS RELIEF
Dark chocolate does wonders to reduce stress, too. In a study conducted by Nestlé, 30 adults were made to consume 40g of dark chocolate (roughly four squares of a large chocolate bar) and were founded to have lower levels of stress-related hormones—though the scent of chocolate is enough to relax the mind.
4. AN ANTI-AGING SPA TREATMENT
Don’t just munch on it, slather it on: Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants making it a great skincare ingredient. Some spas (like Toccare Spa in Makati for those who want to try this out) now have chocolate body mask treatments that promise to keep your skin firm and smooth, and help it age beautifully.
5. SUN PROTECTION
Those who eat chocolate have a better barrier against sun damage; thank chocolate’s high level of flavanols for this. London researchers found that the subjects in their study who ate chocolate everyday for three months took twice as long to develop reddening and irritation from sun exposure.
6. THE ULTIMATE LIP REPAIR
Lipcare products rich in Cocoa not only do a better job at soothing chapped lips, but they also help repair and protect them. Good news too for fans of the matte lip trend: apply lipstick after slathering on cocoa lip balm and watch it glide on smoother. It will keep your lipstick from drying out, too!
7. A DETOXIFYING FACE MASK THAT CLEARS UP SKIN
Those antioxidants in action again!
8. CHOCOLATE (NOT THE FOOD THIS TIME, BUT THE SHADE OF BROWN) IS ONE OF THE FEW UNIVERSALLY FLATTERING HAIR COLORS
Chocolate brown instantly brightens up the face. While most shades of brown require taking skin tone and undertone into account, chocolate brown looks good on everyone.
9. JUST LIKE HAIR COLOR, IT’S LOOKING TO BE A UNIVERSALLY FLATTERING LIP SHADE
10. KEEPS YOUR TEETH HEALTHY
Going overboard on sweets may lead to tooth troubles, but just enough dark chocolate can mean protection from tooth decay. Polyphenols in dark chocolate actually limit oral bacteria.
11. JUST FOR FUN: PUT ON A SHOW WITH CHOCOLATE SYRUP AND FAKE BLOOD
Remember that iconic shower death scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho? What you saw was Bosco Chocolate Syrup used as blood. With Halloween just around the corner, why not take cue from the 1960's slasher film?
12. MAKES YOU HAPPY
Chocolate increases serotonin and endorphin (happy hormones) levels in the brain.
13. IN SOME CLUBS IN EUROPE, PEOPLE SNORT CHOCOLATE TO GET HIGH
A new craze we’re on the fence about. We’d rather sip on hot cocoa.