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You're Stressed Out: Eat a Square of Dark Chocolate

In a recent study, people who ate 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate every day for two weeks had lower levels of the stress hormones cortisol and catecholamines, the “fight or flight” hormones released by the adrenal glands when you’re wigged out. How or why chocolate affects stress levels is not fully understood, but researchers say cocoa is rich in many biochemically active compounds -- like theobromine, which affects the nervous system. Be sure you’re getting the authentic dark stuff by choosing a bar with at least 70 percent cacao. A 1.4-ounce portion of chocolate (roughly the size of a regular Hershey’s bar) contains about 230 calories, so watch your waistline by limiting sweets for the rest of the day.

(CREDIT:Rosemary Calvert/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images)
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