Whether you’re looking for quick information, or want something to impress your friends at dinner, here’s our Featured 5 of the Week!
Happy Valentine’s Day! If there’s one thing we love about this holiday, it’s all the chocolate. And, although milk chocolate is loaded with sugar, dark chocolate has some health benefits that make us swoon.
1. Vitamins and minerals
Dark chocolate is rich in many important vitamins and minerals. These include fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, and zinc. The darker the chocolate (think 70% or higher), the more nutrients it contains for our benefit!
Dark chocolate is also loaded with antioxidants, especially flavanols. This nutrient is also also found in tea, acai, blueberries, and red wine. Since flavanols come from the raw cocoa bean, the more processing the chocolate goes through, the fewer flavanols it will have so, try to stick with at least 70% dark chocolate.
3. Improve heart health
Studies have shown that dark chocolate may improve blood flow and decrease one’s risk of cardiovascular disease, thanks to its beneficial flavanol content. To learn more about dark chocolate and heart health, click here.
4. Decrease cholesterol
Another benefit of eating dark chocolate is that it may lower your cholesterol. Studies have shown that dark chocolate and other cocoa products reduced both bad LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and total cholesterol by a significant amount. You only need 1-2 ounces a day to achieve its benefits.
5. It’s a nootropic
What’s a nootropic? They’re known for their “brainpower” effects, and help us to think more efficiently and develop a stronger memory. Many people take them as a supplement, but they’re also found in a lot of the foods we eat every day, including dark chocolate. This is due to the flavanols that help improve blood flow. When blood flow to the brain is increased, it triggers the production of new brain cells, keeping the brain in tip-top shape.
The Bottom Line
Eating a few small pieces of dark chocolate every day can have great benefits for your health. Just be sure it’s dark chocolate made with 70% cocoa or higher and that you’re eating it in moderation – only 1-2 ounces a day. The perfect treat for Valentine’s Day!