What we’ve always believed about chocolate is true – it makes you happy! Dark chocolate contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. Phenylethylamine, the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love, can be found in chocolate.

Studies have shown that eating a small amount of dark chocolate two or three times each week can help lower your blood pressure. Dark chocolate can improve blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots. Eating dark chocolate may also prevent hardening of the arteries.

Dark chocolate can keep your blood vessels healthy and help protect against Type 2 diabetes. The flavonoids in dark chocolate help minimize insulin resistance by keeping your cells functioning normally and using your body’s insulin efficiently. It also has a low glycemic index so it won’t cause huge spikes in blood-sugar levels.

Antioxidants help free your body of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells, and dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants! Free radicals are implicated in the aging process and may be a cause of cancer, so eating antioxidant-rich foods like dark chocolate can protect you from many types of cancer and slow the signs of aging.

But, remember, dark chocolate is still chocolate and high in fat so that’s no license to go on a chocolate-eating binge. You’ll have to balance the extra calories by eating less of other things, or maybe, just opt for dark chocolate instead of white or milk chocolate the next time your chocolate craving hits.