In honor of National Chocolate Day on November 29th, we decided to share the benefits of authentic dark chocolate with you, and reasons why you can (and should) have just a little bit everyday!

There are so many scientifically backed ways in which chocolate — good chocolate with a cocoa percentage of around 70% or more — really is good for us.

For starters, dark chocolate is an extremely powerful source of antioxidants. One study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate contained more antioxidant activity than other fruits they tested, including berries! The antioxidants in dark chocolate belong to the same group as green tea, the group that has been shown to delay the ageing process most. So yes, by eating chocolate you would be helping your body erase any internal stress it might be experiencing and fight off free radicals.

These disease fighting antioxidants also lower blood pressure and help our blood vessels to relax. The benefits of dark chocolate in relation to heart health do not stop there, as it also increases HDL (good) and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol in our blood. Dark chocolate can reduce insulin resistance too, which is another common risk factor for many common diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

For all our beauty enthusiasts, compounds in dark chocolate can protect against sun-induced damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration. Strange but true, eating chocolate alongside applying your SPF is great for double protection from the sun’s rays!

There is a reason why we crave sugary foods and chocolate while we are PMSing. Chocolate releases calming endorphins that reduce anxiety and balance serotonin levels in our brain. Plus, it’s high in magnesium which uplifts our mood and reduces water retention.

One point is, you need to be aware of the type of dark chocolate you choose. Chewy caramel-marshmallow-nut-covered dark chocolate is not exactly a healthy food choice. These extra ingredients can add a lot of unnecessary fat and calories, cancelling out the beneficial effects of cocoa.

Remember the first time you tasted sushi and hated it, and now you just can’t get enough? The same thing will happen to you if it’s your first time to give dark chocolate a chance. On top of the list of the chocolate brands we love is Godiva dark chocolate, which is available at Superfood Egypt. Lindt is also a great, more affordable and more readily available, option. If you are not quite used to the rich, dark chocolate taste yet, always start off small and gradually increase the percentage. You can also try out dark chocolate covered products to ease yourself in. For example, these dark chocolate covered dates are guaranteed to make you fall in love with dark chocolate. If you’re a baker, always go for dark chocolate chips to add to your creations; once melted, they become sweeter and they hold their shape better too. Find dark chocolate suitable for baking here.

So, don’t be afraid to load up on the dark chocolate on National Chocolate Day, whether you choose to eat it for all the health benefits we mentioned, or just simply because it’s delicious.