Will you be opening a heart-shaped box of chocolate this Valentine's Day? According to a survey by the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, more than 36 million boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine's Day! While "Sweets for the sweet" may put a smile on her face, you may want to consider choosing a healthier version of chocolate to truly express your love.
Dark chocolate is the most nutritious form of chocolate. It contains powerful antioxidants called flavonoids, and magnesium which can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Cardiac research shows that these flavonoids can promote heart health by lowering blood pressure, and improving blood flow to the brain and heart. Milk chocolate loses these benefits because the added milk can reduce the body's ability to absorb these beneficial nutrients.
Is bitter really better? Yes! According to a clinical trial published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consumption of dark chocolate was associated with significant blood pressure reduction as well as protection from cardiometabolic disorders. Protect your Sweetheart and your own heart by choosing an organic variety of dark chocolate that is 70% or higher in cacao. Enjoy a one-ounce square in moderation to promote a healthy heart and help you and your Valentine "Feel Better and Live Longer!"
Jody Anderson, RN, CHC
Succeed Health, LLC- Algoma