Enjoy Your Valentine’s Chocolate!
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d write about one of my favorite guilty pleasures, CHOCOLATE! Chocolate can be good for you. Sure, a chocolate bar loaded with caramel and/or nougat carries few health benefits, but dark chocolate has been found to have many heart-healthy benefits that are otherwise absent in milk or white chocolates.
A healthy heart allows your body to work properly by supplying it with the right amount of blood, flowing at the correct rate. A diseased or injured heart, however, has to work overtime to allow your body to function well.
Here’s where the dark chocolate comes in.
Research has shown that dark chocolate improves blood vessel functioning, thus lowering blood pressure, taking stress off your heart and helping your blood circulate more efficiently. Dark chocolate also has antioxidant qualities, which come from flavonoids found in cocoa. Flavonoids are naturally occurring plant based compounds that repair and protect plants from harmful environmental substances. When consumed by people, flavonoids provide an antioxidant that can repair cell damage from toxic substances, such as cigarette smoke. Due to its antioxidant nature and cancer prevention possibilities, researchers agree that cocoa needs to be further studied.
While this is certainly welcome news, remember, everything in moderation. Eating your required daily intake of fruits and vegetables remains the number one way to stay healthy, but indulging on a piece or two of dark chocolate a week is a good thing! So on Valentine’s Day, nothing says “I love you” like some delicious, dark chocolate.
For more information on dark chocolate and your heart, please visit;
Submitted by Heather Matthews, Cancer Research Specialist at Patient Navigator LLC.