4 Reasons to Give Your Valentine Dark Chocolate
By: Joe Martinez, RPh, PDE, CMS, Founder and CCO, HMS
Contributor: Emily Simmons
We first discussed the reasons why in our blog “Dark Chocolate is Our Friend, Even To Those with Diabetes” — So go ahead and Indulge just a little!. A short review: in comparison with milk and white chocolate, dark chocolate possesses the least amount of sugar, the most amount of cacao powder AND has natural molecules that act as antioxidants. Sounds like a super food to me!
We know you may be searching for the perfect sweet gift for your special someone with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. So, let’s return to that subject of dark chocolate.
Today, we spotlight 4 health benefits, and associated scientific research, that make dark chocolate a winning Valentine’s Day choice for both body and mind!
1) Dark chocolate is nutritionally dense and that’s good.
Cacao powder is high in manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus. A study published by Frontiers in Immunology showed that the iron content in dark chocolate can contribute to the recommended daily allowance needed to prevent anemia. Needless to say, a teaspoon a day can go a long way!
2) Dark chocolate may help to lower blood pressure – but don’t stop taking your prescription just yet.
A Harvard study found that eating a small square of dark chocolate every day can help with lowering blood pressure. The dark chocolate used in the study contained 50-70 percent cocoa. Interestingly, even those with hypertension experienced a reduction in blood pressure.
3) Dark chocolate increases ‘good cholesterol’ – and we all want more of the good stuff….right?!
Think Wizard of Oz: just like there’s a good witch and a bad witch, there’s also good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. LDL is the bad cholesterol. HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is the good cholesterol. The purpose of HDL is to remove the LDL from the body. Therefore, when you have a higher level of HDL, you should have a lower level of LDL.
In a randomized control study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that drinking dark chocolate helped increase HDL levels. The magic was made by a compound in dark chocolate called theobromine. A study published in the Dental Research Journal also showed that theobromine is good for your teeth and helps prevent tooth decay. Hot dark cacao anyone?!
4) Dark chocolate can help improve your mood – this is too good, so just chill out!
A study published by Depression and Anxiety showed that eating dark chocolate can help improve your mood. It works like this: Dark chocolate contains a molecule called β-phenylethylamine (PEA). This molecule has a similar action to serotonin or dopamine — what some call ‘happy molecules’. The mechanism of action is thought to help us feel happier.
What else? The list of health benefits goes on and on, but we’ll stop here for now and leave you with this thought: As you are considering the perfect Valentine’s gift for your special someone, AND if you want something sweet but also healthy – think of Dark Chocolate or something with dark chocolate as “THE ONE”.
And to make things really easy, here are some dark chocolate delights that your friend or loved one will absolutely adore and you can order without effort at Healthy Meals Supreme:
And your special bonus! From February 1 – 14th at 6:00 pm ET, take advantage of Healthy Meals Supreme’s Valentine’s Day sale: get one FREE dessert with your order of 10 meals in a week. Check out the gift certificates too.
…and remember that our Valentine’s Day raffle is coming up on February 6th on our Facebook live show at 11 a.m. Anyone who orders from now through Feb 5th on the Healthy Meals Supreme website, will automatically be entered in our random drawing where the winner will receive 5 free meals.
Wishing you a sweet, loving and healthy Valentine’s Day!
* Always check with your doctor or healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.