We’d be happy to eat more dark chocolate year round, but research shows it might benefit your body the most during summer months. Flavonols (the antioxidants found in chocolate) help protect your skin from UV damage, fight free radicals, and increase blood flow. In one study, flavonols in dark chocolate even improved skin hydration and thickness.
But that doesn't mean you can skip sunscreen, cautions Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in the dermatology department at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The research indicates that two to three ounces of chocolate with 70 percent or more cocoa is all you need to reap the health benefits.