Some candy is actually good for your health
Some candy is actually good for your health. (Free Digital Photos)

If you’re a candy lover who winces with guilt each time you indulge in your favorite treat, take heart: Candy may actually be good for you. Although dark chocolate candy has the most proven health benefits, other favorites, such as peppermint, have real advantages as well.

So, enjoy your treat—in moderation, of course—and check out the ways candy can improve your health. 

1. Heart disease. Rich, dark chocolate is packed with powerful heart-healthy antioxidant flavonoids. A study reported in the British Medical Journal found that regularly eating chocolate decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke by 39 percent. Another study found that those who ate a chocolate bar weekly reduced their chances of dying from a stroke by 46 percent.

2. Depression. Chocolate contains both serotonin, a neurotransmitter that acts as an antidepressant, as well as a chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA) that enhances mood.

3. Longevity. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that people who ate candy several times a month lived almost a year longer than those who ate no candy at all. Researchers believed the antioxidant phenol, which is also found in red wine, may be responsible for the increased longevity of candy lovers. They also speculated that cacao, from which chocolate is made, can reduce oxidation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and can enhance immune function.

4. Diabetes. A 2011 animal study found that a flavonoid in licorice called glabridin reversed learning and memory problems caused by Type 2 diabetes and also improved the memory of non-diabetic animals. In addition, a study conducted at the U.K.’s University of Hull found that dark chocolate increased levels of HDL, or "good" cholesterol, in Type 2 diabetics.

"Chocolate with a high cocoa content should be included in the diet of individuals with Type 2 diabetes as part of a sensible, balanced approach to diet and lifestyle," says researcher Steve Atkin, professor of diabetes and endocrinology. "This study demonstrates that it can offer a potential reduction in cardiovascular risk without detrimental risks on weight, insulin resistance or glycemic control."

5. Stress. Chewing gum can be a sweet way to reduce stress. Studies indicate that the repetitive action of chewing gum stimulates areas of the mind that increase attention and self-control while lowering areas related to stress. Chewing gum also increases serotonin levels. 

6. Concentration. Studies at the University of Cincinnati found that peppermint helps people concentrate better when taking tests, and some educators are even encouraging their studies to eat a piece of peppermint during tests. Additionally, a study at Wheeling Jesuit University found that peppermint made drivers more alert. 

7. Digestion. Peppermint candy made with real peppermint extract can ease gas and bloating and an upset stomach. A chemical in ginger aids upset stomachs by relaxing the intestinal tract. Carrying a few pieces of ginger candy in your pocket may help with nausea, gas and other minor stomach upsets, including motion sickness.   

8. Cancer. Researchers at an affiliate of Georgetown University Medical Center found that a compound in cocoa beans slows the growth of cancers and speeds their destruction. The chemical, known as GECGC, was the most effective against fast-growing cancers. It showed positive results against colon, cervical and one line of leukemia cells and was found to be effective at the concentrations similar to those a person might eat.

9. Coughs. A British study found that two ounces of chocolate was more effective at suppressing chronic coughs than codeine. Chocolate contains theobromine, which calms the vagus nerve, the section of the brain that triggers coughs.

For the original article, visit newsmaxhealth.com.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Did you enjoy this health article? Click here to receive new health articles by email.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Hillary Clinton

    What if Hillary Clinton Wins the White House?

    Polls have Mrs. Clinton leading by 11 points. The church must be prepared.

  • Holy Spirit prophetic

    7 Ways to Cultivate Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit

    Too many of God's people are led by fear, doubt, man-pleasing, presumption, assumption, idols ...

  • Jezebel puppets

    10 Ways to Spot Jezebel's Spiritually Slick Undercover Con Artists

    It's time to stop tolerating Jezebel in all its many manifestations.

  • Highway exit signs

    Prophetic Word: Watch for the Exit Signs to Light Up This Season

    Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty in the harvest fields. The "barnyard anointing" ...

  • Finger pointing

    The Accuser vs. Donald Trump—and Us All

    This isn't a political persuasion piece, but a current-event case study in the strategies of ...

  • Daily scripture reading, meditation and prayer can seem elusive with your busy schedule.

    10 Small Steps to Deeper Intimacy With Holy Spirit in Your Quiet Times

    If deep quiet times seem just out of your reach with your busy schedule, try one of these ...

  • Lance Wallnau

    Lance Wallnau Is on Fire and on Target With His Insights on the Culture and This Election

    I'm sickened by the self-righteous, weak-kneed "evangelicals" who want to be liked by ...

  • In October, many things will be realigned in your life, including your vision.

    5 Prophetic Revelations About God's October Surprise

    "The winds of apostolic change are blowing across the land and realigning you."

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit