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Chocolate Consumption May Help Protect Your Skin From the Sun

Chocolate lovers have a new reason to indulge in their favorite decadent treat. A study out of Germany shows that dark chocolate in particular has been shown to contain a host of antioxidants to help the skin shield itself from the sun by fighting free radical damage. The antioxidants found in chocolate are flavonoids, epicatechin and catechin--all of which help the skin protect itself from the sun. According to the German study, a group of women were given 326 milligrams of high-flavanol cocoa versus another group of women who consumed 27 milligrams of the same cocoa a day. Both groups ate the cocoa for 12 weeks. The group given the 326 milligrams showed decreased sensitivity to UV light, while the group who consumed 27 milligrams did not. Another skin benefit of eating dark chocolate is a glowing, hydrated complexion. The flavonoids help to increase blood flow and oxygen saturation. Flavonoids are also thought to help in heart attack prevention. A super food if there ever was one! But just because you're scarfing down the chocolate doesn't mean you can skip the sunscreen! It's essential to wear a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 every day for ideal sun protection. For already existing sun damage, the Fraxel laser is hands down the most effective way to remove brown spots caused by sun damage.
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Schweiger Dermatology

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