Why should I have to give you a reason to eat chocolate? You’ve earned it! You’re a mom. You change diapers, make lunches, drop kids off and pick them up, and you still manage to look amazing. The least you can do for yourself is buy a big, fat box of M&Ms and splurge now and then.

Oh, so you feel guilty? The fat, the calories, the cavities, it’s enough to deter even the most deserving of moms. Have no fear! I’m here to give you five reasons why you should buck those inhibitions and indulge.

  1. Afraid of getting cavities? Well, some chocolates have calcium. M&Ms have 50.4 mg per serving, to be exact. Sure, it may not counterbalance the fact that you’re soaking your teeth in sugar, but calcium’s good for teeth, so at least there’s that, right?
  2. Chocolate reduces your risk of stroke. A 2011 Swedish study found that women who ate 45 grams or more a week had a 20 percent lower risk of having a stroke. You have to stay alive to take care of your kids, right? So eat some chocolate. You know, for the children.
  3. A recent handful of studies show that eating chocolate can lower blood pressure, decrease your risk of heart disease and lower bad cholesterol. It also has properties that reduce inflammation, which can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease in general. Eating chocolate is practically like jogging!
  4. Cocoa thins your blood, much the same way as aspirin. This can improve your circulation. So M&Ms are basically little mini vitamins, right?
  5. This is the most obvious benefit, but why not prove it with science for good measure? Chocolate improves your mood. One study shows that choco-holics report feeling less stressed than their non-chocolate-consuming counterparts. So not only will it make you a happier mom and wife, it will make you love life a little more.

Now that I’ve rid your conscience of its undeserved guilt, treat yourself! Here’s a coupon for some M&Ms. You’ll thank me for it later.