Tastes Great, Less Skin Cancer

New studies say eating dark chocolate can help protect against harmful UV rays.
Lucy, pioneer of the chocolate facial. (Photo: CBS Photo Archive/ Getty)
Aug 13, 2013· 0 MIN READ
A Canadian ex-pat with a passion for pop culture, Carly is a multi-published author, public speaker and screenwriter.

Baseball? Please. Everyone knows the real national pastime is finding justifications for eating more chocolate. We prattle on about its antioxidants and mood-boosting capabilities, revel in research that claims regular chocolate eaters have lower BMIs, and proudly proclaim how we’re encouraging cardiovascular health and decreasing stroke risks by stuffing a fudgy piece of cake in our mups.

Now there’s a new one to add to the list: Chocolate can actually help protect you from the sun.

It sounds like a bunch of pseudo-science cooked up by Willy Wonka, but it’s true. Chocolate contains high levels of flavanols, a powerful antioxidant that tends to get stripped out in conventional chocolate products. But if you invest in some of the high-quality, low-refined good stuff and eat 20 g’s of it a day, you’ll find yourself naturally boosted to fight off dangerous UV rays.

Now, no one’s suggesting that you run out and slather yourself in baby oil and take to the beach. The sun protection is described as “significant,” but not bulletproof. And you’re not going to get the desired effect if you’re putting down Snickers bars and Ho Hos.

But baby steps can help support greater change—and if that change includes ingesting more chocolate, why not indulge? It’s the American way, after all.