Surprise: Candy Is Better for You Than You Thought

Healthy candy? You bet—see how your favorite "junk" food can help relieve stress and more.

By Damon Beres
Chocolate Reviews via Flickr

Dark Chocolate: The Wonder Drug?

Studies show that dark chocolate really does do some great things for your health. Because it's an antioxidant—meaning it helps fight bad molecules—dark chocolate helps prevent heart disease, lifts your mood, and can even protect your skin against harmful UV rays. Just remember: It's still candy, so try not go go over an ounce a day.

Original photo by s8an via Flickr

Chewing Gum: Soothes Stress!

A recent Australian study suggests that gum can increase your alertness and reduce stress. Participants who chewed gum while multitasking "under stressful conditions" also reported decreased anxiety.

|Chris| via Flickr

Sugar: Improves Willpower

Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., writing for Psychology Today, says popping in some hard candy could help get your motor running: "Studies show that when your blood sugar drops, your brain is less able to focus and control your impulses. But a small snack that increases blood sugar helps the brain snap back into self-control mode." Ideally you'd reach for a snack with protein and fiber, but in a pinch, candy could produce a similar effect.

donjd2 via Flickr

Chocolate-Covered Raisins: Boost Antioxidants and Fiber

If something's already good for you, it still provides some benefits when it's covered with chocolate. (Just watch your portions, of course.) Fitness Magazine points out that chocolate-covered raisin candies—like movie-theater favorite Raisinets—provide your body with antioxidants and fiber.

Josh Kenzer via Flickr

Cotton Candy: Restores Blood Vessels

Cotton candy doesn't do much for you when you eat it, but researchers are able to use it in labs to create artificial blood vessels,according to a report published on NewYork-Presbyterian's website. Useful knowledge for your next carnival, perhaps.

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