Chocolate & Saint Valentine’s Day!
As we come upon this day of love and we begin to desire something chocolatey, consider choosing dark chocolate for its many known health benefits!
Dark chocolate has higher levels of flavonoids than other chocolates. Flavonoids support heart health by reducing the risk of cardiovascular events, stroke and high blood pressure. The higher the cocoa percentage is in the dark chocolate the higher the benefits, as cocoa is thought to lower LDLs (bad fats) and raise HDLs (good fats).
Cocoa has excellent capabilities as an antioxidant, almost as well as blueberries and some other fruits. As an antioxidant, it helps to fight against free radicals which can cause cancer and other diseases. Additionally, flavonols (a class of flavonoids) are found in cocoa and are known to increase blood flow to the skin and may help to prevent damage from the sun as well as contribute to heart health.
When choosing dark chocolate, look for solid dark chocolate with >70% cocoa, avoiding all those chocolates in the heart boxes with yummy gooey creams and caramel, which don’t support health, and although it is considered a healthy food, too much is not necessarily a good idea either… eat them in moderation!
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
Shawn McGinty-Rufo, RD, LDN
Clinical Nutrition Manager
You will always find our informative articles on healthy living in recovery when clicking our “Wellness Corner” link located at the top right corner of every page on our web site.