With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it seems people everywhere are turning their attention towards all things romantic. Many are hoping their doting gestures, red-themed gift boxes and bedazzling trinkets will score them some steamy bedroom action.

But it’s nice to have a back-up plan just in case your honey tries to fake a phantom migraine or simply fesses up to not being in the lovin’ mood.

Don’t fire Cupid’s ass yet.

A little dark chocolate can take the temperature from ice cold to hot and bothered in no time. After all, there’s a reason it tastes sinfully sweet, never has performance anxiety, and is known for getting people “up”.

Yes! You can count on dark chocolate to give you and your Valentine a heart on. Again and again.

6 reasons dark chocolate is good for you:

1. It keeps your ticker in tip top shape so you can be more active in the sheets – or anywhere

Dark chocolate is full of flavonoids, antioxidant compounds that increase the flexibility of veins and arteries. This helps lower blood pressure and significantly reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.

This also means that, if your guy has a hard time keeping it up, skip the little packages and consider splurging on the jumbo sized box of dark chocolates. Those flavonoids trigger the release of dilating chemicals in the inner (endothelial) layer of the arteries, which the penis is largely comprised of. Slip him a square or two and you might be left wondering … is that a dark chocolate covered banana in your pocket or … oh, never mind.

2. It makes you smarter and that’s hot

Some smart British dudes found that drinking cocoa rich in flavanols boosts blood flow to key parts of the brain for a few hours. This is great news for all those cramming college students who can now take refuge in a steaming cup of (spiked) hot chocolate. But Lord knows us moms can also use a little boost in mental performance and alertness, too. Just ask our chronically missing keys/sunglasses/cold cup of coffee/fill in the blank.

Pop an ounce of chocolate just before your kid starts his homework and launch yourself to hero status when he comes crawling to you for help with that stumper of a geometry problem. Look who’s smarter than a Fifth grader now.

3. It can keep you from peeing your pants … cause that’s not so hot

Anyone who has every pushed a baby out of their vagina can vouch for the fact that that the lady garden is never quite the same again. Take a few bounces on a trampoline, warm up with a few jumping jacks, sneeze or, heaven forbid, have a coughing fit – and you’re likely to be standing in a puddle of your own pee.

Fantastic news! Chocolate is a delicious way to kick your cough, thanks to the theobromine it contains. This chemical may suppress activity in a part of the brain called the vagus nerve which triggers coughing fits.

Won’t help you with the sneezing or exercising. But baby steps.

4. It makes you live longer and being alive instead of dead should be enough to get anyone off

The oldest person ever, a woman named Jeanne Louise Calment lived to be 122 and ate a whopping two and a half pounds of dark chocolate per week. Coincidence? Me thinks not. A Harvard University study found that one or two doses of dark chocolate per week can actually help you live longer. Researchers compared men who ate chocolate with those who didn’t and found that the chocolate users lived one year longer. While dark chocolate certainly doesn’t fully explain Jeanne Louse Calment’s enhanced longevity, it’s a step in the right direction. Besides 122 feels just a wee bit long to me. By about 40 years give or take. So I’ll gladly settle for just one extra year.

5. It makes your skin look super sultry

The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate enhances your skin by protecting against sun damage, improving blood flow and increasing density and hydration. So don’t forget to load up on dark chocolate a few weeks before your next family beach vacation. Toss a few extra bars into your carry on, too, for good measure. Just be sure to leave enough room for the Benadryl.

6. It makes you more lovable

When times get tough, people tend to turn to chocolate for a big fat bear hug. That’s because chocolate triggers a tidal wave of pleasure producing chemicals and hormones, like dopamine and serotonin, which make us feel happy, relaxed and intoxicated. Just like being in love.

Swiss scientists even found that anxious people who ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for two weeks significantly reduced their stress hormone levels. If ice cream’s the go-to sweet for drowning your sorrows, dark chocolate’s the dessert for getting it on. Goodbye timidness. Hello-o-o-o orgasm.

You don’t need V-Day as an excuse to get your cacao fix. If you’re having a hard time tapping into your desire, tantalize your taste buds any day of the year with some dark chocolate.

Just don’t go overboard with the whole indulgence thing. But be sure to aim for at least 70% cacao content to maximize the nutritional benefits. And remember, dark chocolate is still packed with fat and calories — so stick to a max of 1 to 2 ounces per day. You’ll reap the sexy rewards without packing on the pounds.

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