Dark, sweet, and rich, chocolate can enhance almost anything. There are plenty of places where you can read about chocolate’s health benefits or the aphrodisiac qualities of a box of fancy bonbons, but we’re here to tell you about five ways that chocolate can make your workday better.
Which chocolate? Choose chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids, such as 70 percent and above—the higher the cocoa solids, the less sugar. And keep portion sizes in check.
Improve your social standing in the office by keeping some small, individually wrapped dark chocolates in your office or cubicle. You’ll be surprised by the increase in traffic as coworkers beat a path to your door. Why is this beneficial? Social interaction helps us feel more connected to our workplace. It’s good for mental and even physical health, as studies have shown. And could there be a better way to encourage knowledge-sharing between departments and inter-team bonding than chocolate? We doubt it.
You’ve just walked out of a meeting where you couldn’t quite get out of the way of an avalanche of undeserved blame. Or you head to the break room anticipating a snack, only to discover that someone took the last Fuji apple from The FruitGuys box. You’re down in the dumps. Have a square of dark chocolate. The theobromine and caffeine it contains are known mood enhancers.
- Weight Control
It may seem counterintuitive, but chocolate can help you ward off weight gain. Dark chocolate is rich in fat and fiber, both of which help keep you feeling fuller longer than fat-free or sugary foods. Antioxidants and other compounds in chocolate may deliver a metabolic boost that can offset its caloric downside. Enjoy a small square or two after lunch and you’ll feel more satisfied and less tempted to saunter over to the vending machine for high-calorie treats. Just make sure you choose chocolate that is low in sugar and keep portion sizes in check.
Trying to push out that stack of emails that’s been piling up? Promise yourself a square of dark chocolate if you can get to the bottom of your inbox, and you’ll power through whatever it takes.
Speaking of powering through, sometimes you slide into a midafternoon slump and just can’t find your way out. That bit of dark chocolate in your desk can be a lifeline. The aforementioned caffeine and bracing bitterness of extra-dark chocolate—and even the act of eating itself—will help perk you up without resorting to a sleep-destroying afternoon coffee.
As you can see, chocolate should earn a place alongside Post-it Notes and paper clips as a must-have office supply.
Miriam Wolf is the editor of The FruitGuys Magazine.