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8 Benefits Of Dark Chocolate That Make It More Irresistible

8 Benefits Of Dark Chocolate That Make It More Irresistible

Dark chocolate is certainly a delicious treat that we’ve long been told we don’t have to feel guilty about. These benefits of dark chocolate will keep you reaching for your favorite bar and feeling great about it, too.

Chocolate Can Lower Blood Pressure

One of the first studies to highlight the benefits of dark chocolate came out in 2003 and reported that eating dark chocolate daily could help lower blood pressure in people with moderately high numbers. The study, from Germany, had participants eat 100 grams of dark chocolate daily for two weeks and found an average drop of 5 points in systolic blood pressure and two points for diastolic (that’s the top number and the bottom, respectively).

Other studies have shown that eating a little dark chocolate can increase blood flow, and a later study in Germany found that limiting participants to just 30 calories of dark chocolate a day—about the equivalent of a dark chocolate Hershey’s kiss—could still lower blood pressure over time.

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It’s Also Good for the Heart

Eating dark chocolate regularly can help reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries, reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by more than 50 percent, and even reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease among elderly people over the course of many years.

This makes sense because of the blood pressure lowering capabilities of chocolate and its link to lower levels of bad cholesterol.

Dark Chocolate is Full of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are a powerful way to protect the body from the effects of aging just by eating healthy foods, and dark chocolate turns out to have a ton of these protective molecules. Researchers found that people who ate dark chocolate had more antioxidants in their bloodstream than people who ate milk chocolate, or who chased their dark chocolate with milk.

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Delicious and Nutritious

There are many healthy nutrients in dark chocolate that can help qualify it as a healthy choice. An ounce of dark chocolate has 2 grams of fiber and is a decent source of iron, magnesium, copper and manganese; trace elements that can be difficult to pick up in your diet.

That little serving also has 1.4 grams of protein.

It Makes You Feel Good

I probably don’t need to tell you that having a little chocolate at the end of a hard day makes you feel better, but there’s a scientific basis for that boost. A chemical in dark chocolate, phenylethylamine, boosts endorphins and makes you feel similar to the feeling of falling in love.

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The small amount of caffeine in dark chocolate can give you a mental boost, too, making you feel more focused.

It Might Make You Look Better

Those antioxidants and mood boosters in dark chocolate can reduce feelings of stress and release of stress hormones, which may make your skin look better. Stress hormones can break down collagen in the skin, which makes wrinkles appear more prominent.

Flavanols in dark chocolate may also make skin healthier, improve blood flow to the skin, giving you a healthier glow, and protect against sun damage.

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It Could Be Brain Food, Too

Eating dark chocolate has also shown increased blood flow to the brain, which can make you sharper and reduce the effects of aging on the brain. Again, caffeine may help boost brain power when you eat chocolate, too.

It’s Better for Your Blood Sugar

Even dark chocolate has a fair bit of sugar in it, so you should keep servings small or take something out of your diet to make up for the calories you consume in chocolate. But there’s one more bit of good news, and that is that flavanoids in dark chocolate can help reduce insulin resistance, which can in turn prevent type 2 diabetes.

Did you know chocolate also makes your teeth healthy? Read on for more benefits.

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Sarah White

Freelance Writer, Editor, Professional Crafter

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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