11 Ways Chocolate Is Saving Your Life

Chocolate: Is it magic? These scientific studies sure make it seem that way.

1. Chocolate Is Good for Your Heart Health

Bogdan Cristel / Reuters

A 2011 study found that eating chocolate was associated with a 37% reduced risk for heart disease.

2. Chocolate Puts You in The Mood, at Least in Your Head

Romeo Ranoco / Reuters

Many people (possibly starting with the Aztecs) believe that chocolate is an aphrodisiac. Its more arousing properties are “probably psychological, not physiological,” but that’s likely a good part of the battle.

3. Chocolate “Makes” You Thin

Lee Jin-man / AP

A study last year (and the year before, and most years) found that people who eat chocolate frequently tend to have lower BMIs, but no matter how many times it’s published, this “finding” always feels like a trick Cady Heron would play on Regina George, or vice versa.

4. Chocolate Reduces Men’s Risk of Stroke

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Studies have found that men who ate an average of 63 grams of chocolate a week over a decade were 17% less likely to have a stroke than men who ate none. (Though the men who say they ate no chocolate in 10 years might also have been pathological liars, right?)

5. Chocolate Never Forgets

Denis Balibouse / Reuters

Researchers in Italy found that among elderly people with early stages of dementia, those who ate more chocolate demonstrated better long- and short-term memory than those who ate less.

6. Chocolate Makes You Less Hungry (Especially if It’s Good)

David W Cerny / Reuters

It does make sense that you wouldn’t be hungry after eating something. Scientists found that men who ate 100 grams of high-quality dark chocolate weren’t immediately hungry afterward. Another test group was given 100 grams of inferior milk chocolate — and these participants were slightly hungrier.

7. Chocolate Makes You Immortal, Basically

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A study on Harvard graduates, done over 60 years, found that chocolate eaters tended to live a year or so longer than those who didn’t eat chocolate. I don’t know where they find so many people who never eat chocolate, especially since they are apparently dying off.

8. Chocolate Makes You Good at Math

Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times / MCT

A passive-aggressive-sounding study out of the U.K. fed volunteers hot cocoa and then asked them to do math problems. Researchers found that the subjects who drank the cocoa did better than those who didn’t, except “when the group was asked to count backwards in groups of seven.”

9. Chocolate* (*Theobromine) Soothes Your Cough

Keystone / AP

Scientists found that “theobromine,” a naturally occurring ingredient in raw chocolate, can suppress the cough reflex. It probably wouldn’t help to drink a tablespoon of Hershey’s chocolate syrup instead of Robitussin, but it doesn’t say if they tried.

10. Chocolate Cancels Any/All Side Effects of Smoking (Just Kidding)

Researchers did find, though, that dark-chocolate consumption reduced “oxidative stress” and subsequent health issues in some smokers but, says Dr. Thomas Glynn at the American Cancer Society, “No one, despite the enjoyment of dark chocolate, should consider using it as a substitute for healthy eating, getting exercise, and above all, stopping smoking.” So close!

11. Chocolate Gets You a Nobel Prize

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found a strong correlation between chocolate intake per capita and the corresponding number of Nobel laureates per country. And probably that chocolate couldn’t possibly be a stand-in for any other type of socioeconomic factor at all!

START EATING CHOCOLATE AND DON’T STOP!

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