The National Confectioners Association (NCA) celebrated International Chocolate Day on Sept. 13, but there are plenty of good reasons to eat chocolate no matter what day it is.
- According to the NCA, U.S. chocolate manufacturers use about 3.5 million pounds of whole milk every day to make chocolate.
- WebMD reports that dark chocolate (but not milk chocolate or dark chocolate eaten with milk) is a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants gobble up free radicals, destructive molecules that are implicated in heart disease and other ailments.
- WebMD reports that dark chocolate (not white chocolate) lowers high blood pressure. Eating more dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure--if you've reached a certain age and have mild high blood pressure, say the researchers. But you have to balance the extra calories by eating less of other things.
So go ahead, indulge yourself. It's good for you!