In honor of American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day, we’re taking this opportunity to remind you of the heart health benefits of dark chocolate. Yes, your dentist is advocating candy!
A growing number of studies show that dark chocolate is one candy choice that may just be good for you! One source, Authority Nutrition, nicely outlines 7 Proven Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate, gleaned from available research on the subject:
- “If you buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it is actually quite nutritious… It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals.”
- “Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants.” Cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, contains flavanols from cocoa beans that have antioxidant effects that appear to reduce risk factors for heart disease.
- “…dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure…”
- “Dark chocolate improves several important risk factors for disease. It lowers the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative damage while increasing HDL and improving insulin sensitivity.”
- “Observational studies show a drastic reduction in heart disease risk for the people who consume the most chocolate.”
- “…flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage.”
- “Dark chocolate may improve brain function.”
We always encourage sugar intake in moderation and recommend you discuss proper diet with your doctor, but this Valentine’s Day, if you must choose candy, dark chocolate is a choice we can support.
Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and be kind to your heart!
Cardiovascular disease is the nation’s #1 killer of both men and women, but heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. See your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose numbers. Visit the American Heart Association’s Healthy For Good program for tips and tools to eat smart, add color, move more and be well.
Meanwhile, here at the office we’re taking things to heart and celebrating appropriately!