Believe it or not, finishing your meal with a chocolate dessert can actually be healthy – whether during the Valentine’s Day chocolate-laden month of February or during summer al fresco indulgences. Studies show that dark chocolate contains numerous health benefits due to its main ingredient, cacao. Cacao is packed with beneficial chemicals including flavonoids and theobromine and the most optimal perks come from treats that have at least 70 percent of this powerful ingredient. 

Read on to uncover just a few healthy benefits such as: 

  1. Cough relief. Here’s something you may not know - chocolate can actually quiet coughs almost as well as codeine, due to the amounts of theobromine it contains.  Theobromine helps suppress activity in the vagus nerve in the brain which controls coughing.
  2. Stress relief. This one is more of a no-brainer.  Scientists have discovered that eating an ounce and a half of chocolate every day helps reduce stress hormone levels over time.
  3. A healthy heart.  Studies have also shown that dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure and reduce risk of heart attack by as much as 39 percent.
  4. A sharper memory. Scientists at Harvard Medical School suggest that drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day could help keep the brain healthy and reduce memory decline.

Need a little chocolate fix on your next stay with us? From the Caramel Chocolate Candy Bar at David Burke Kitchen in The James New York – Soho or the classic Chocolate Sundae at Primehouse Chicago, with this knowledge, scouring the dessert menu now requires very little guilt.