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I Never Knew Chocolate Makes My Teeth Healthy Until I Read This

I Never Knew Chocolate Makes My Teeth Healthy Until I Read This

Good news for all you chocolate lovers out there: When eaten in moderation, chocolate may actually be good for you! Though hidden under the guise of an unhealthy, sugary snack, chocolate has so many health benefits it’s almost too sweet to be true. From improving heart health to improving your overall mood, you may want to think twice before refusing your next piece of chocolate.

Because I love top 5 lists, here’s a concise summary of the more gripping effects chocolate has on the body:

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1. Chocolate Contains Antioxidants Galore!

One of the greatest things about chocolate is that it’s chock-full of antioxidants, which, if you didn’t know, help protect your body against the skin-damaging effects of free radicals. Because dark chocolate contains a higher level of natural cocoa, it’s by far the most beneficial type of chocolate. Throughout history, the cocoa bean has been cherished for its amazing and unique composition. More recent studies have shown that the various health benefits of cocoa beans are nothing short of amazing. In fact, cocoa beans contain more antioxidants than any other food. Period. To break this down even further I’ll give you a comparison: A serving of blueberries, a widely-known source of antioxidants, contains about 32 antioxidants; cocoa beans contain around 621!

While milk and white chocolate may taste good, the added ingredients that make them sweeter negate the potential health benefits the cocoa bean provides. Every beneficial aspect chocolate has stems from the cocoa bean. Therefore, the darker the chocolate, the healthier it is.

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2. Chocolate Lowers Your Risk of Diabetes

Number two on our chocolate-loving list is the correlation between dark chocolate and diabetes. When eaten in moderation, dark chocolate can be a powerful companion in combating diabetes. Sounds crazy, right? Contrary to what you’ve been told, eating dark chocolate has been found to lower one’s risk for diabetes by lowering blood pressure and significantly increasing sensitivity to insulin. When buying chocolate with your heart’s health in mind be sure to buy the kind that is extremely dark, as this means there are less fillers and more cocoa to be had. On its own, cocoa is extremely bitter, so it’s up to you to find some common ground between balancing sweetness and bitterness. It’s a give-and-take relationship, but over time your taste buds may become more accustomed to darker chocolate.

3. Chocolate Helps Your Heart

Another surprising benefit of eating dark chocolate is that it can actually improve your heart’s health. Eating dark chocolate regularly has been shown to help lower blood pressure, as cocoa contains compounds known as flavonoids, which are widely known to help stabilize blood pressure by aiding in the formation of nitric oxide. Not only that, chocolate can also help lower your cholesterol level too! Because dark chocolate is so jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it actually plays a vital role in keeping you healthy. By regularly consuming dark chocolate, you’re not only helping your heart, you’re helping your waistband.

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    4. Chocolate Protects Your Skin and Smile

    Because of the enormous presence of flavonoids in dark chocolate, eating it has been known to help protect your skin from sun damage. Dark chocolate helps encourage blood flow and has been known to slow the aging process. Dark chocolate also contains a mineral known as theobromine, which is wonderful at strengthening tooth enamel. Just think of it, eating sweets to help keep your teeth healthy! In addition, dark chocolate contains an incredible amount of other vitamins and minerals, making it a veritable superfood.

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    5. Chocolate Gives You Good Vibrations

    Last, but certainly not least, chocolate is a natural mood booster. Studies have shown that people who regularly consume dark chocolate are more likely to feel relaxed and happy. Eating chocolate can actually improve overall cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain. As well as containing low levels of caffeine, chocolate releases endorphins into the brain—stimulating your mood, waking you up and helping you feel good.
    Though there are other more in-depth studies that further highlight the benefits of chocolate, I think these five are enough to convert any non-believer! It is important to note that there is no set amount as to how much chocolate should be consumed each day in order to truly reap the rewards, so be sure to eat it sparingly. And remember: though it boasts a ton of healthy benefits, it’s still chocolate in the end!

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

    The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

    1. Understand Yourself Better

    Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

    Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

    2. Keep Track of Small Changes

    I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

    Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

    3. Become Aware of What Matters

    As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

    You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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    4. Boost Creativity

    The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

    When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

    You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

    5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

    A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

    Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

    6. Process Life Experiences

    When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

    Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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    7. Stress Relief

    In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

    Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

    8. Provide Direction

    Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

    One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

    9. Solve Problems

    Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

    Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

    When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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    10. Find Relief From Fighting

    Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

    Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

    11. Find Meaning in Life

    Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

    12. Allow Yourself to Focus

    Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

    13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

    When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

    14. Let the Past Go

    I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

    15. Allow Freedom

    Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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    16. Enhance Your Career

    Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

    Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

    17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

    All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

    18. Catalog Your Life for Others

    No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

    We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

    Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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