Pictured recipe: Dark Chocolate Truffles
From improving heart health to reducing your risk for diabetes, chocolate is one of our all-time favorite sweet treats! Aside from its wonderful health benefits, just the thought of decadent Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries is enough to make us happy. We thought we just liked the taste of chocolate, but now there's legit research to back up those warm-and-fuzzy feelings we get from biting into a bar.
A new study conducted by University College of London, The University of Calgary, and Alberta Health Services suggests that eating dark chocolate could lower our risk of depression by fourfold. This is pretty significant, considering 40 million adults currently suffer from depression in the U.S.
Related: 7 Foods to Boost Your Mood
Pictured recipe: Red Wine Chocolate Lava Cakes
7.6 percent of the 13,00 people surveyed during the course of the study revealed they suffer from depressive symptoms, whereas only 1.6 percent of chocolate eaters reported depressive symptoms. And if those numbers aren't convincing enough, the study suggests that people who ate the most amount of any kind of chocolate—between 3.6 to 16 ounces—were less likely to report depressive symptoms as well.
Although these findings are promising for chocolate lovers, the study's lead author Dr. Sarah Jackson told the Telegraph, "Further research is required to clarify the direction of causation—it could be the case that depression causes people to lose their interest in eating chocolate, or there could be other factors that make people both less likely to eat dark chocolate and to be depressed."
Related: Healthy Chocolate Dessert Recipes
Pictured recipe: Chocolate Pancakes
Whatever the case, we'll stick to eating dark chocolate as we *patiently* wait for more studies to solidify our opinion that it's the greatest food on earth. If you're looking for more ways to eat dark chocolate (we know we are!), check out these healthy chocolate recipes.