Chocolate: Why it Says More than ‘I Love You’
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, now would be a good time (not that there’s ever a bad time) to talk about chocolate. Besides the many great tasting varieties it comes in, chocolate also has a variety of health benefits.
Not only can it be a key to a person’s heart but it can also be good for it too. This sweet treat contains a compound known as flavonols, which have been shown to have cardiovascular benefits such improving circulation, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
Dark chocolate contains the chemical compound phenylethylamine which has been shown to improve mood. When consumed it also increases the release of endorphins in the brain which also has been shown to boost one’s feelings.
NOT ALL CHOCOLATE CHALKS UP
While some studies have shown health benefits resulting from chocolate consumption, it doesn’t mean necessarily you should have a candy bar or eat chocolaty goods more often. Truth is, not all chocolate is created equal. Choose dark chocolate or cocoa powder that has not been highly processed over milk chocolate or other chocolate bars and candies that are typically high in calories, fat, and added sugar. The less processed the chocolate the more likely it will have higher levels of flavonols and antioxidants for health benefits. Another key is moderation with most research suggesting around a single ounce serving of dark chocolate several times per week. Any more than that and you run the risk of fewer health benefits and more added calories and sugar in the diet.