With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we can’t help but think about all that goes with the commercial side of the holiday. Cards, flowers, and chocolate. Sweet Chocolate!
Well, this Valentine’s Day enjoy all the wonderful benefits of that sweet treat. There’s many reasons that chocolate is good for you.
For instance, did you know that chocolate improves the blood flow through the arteries that supply the heart and the brain. There’s also evidence-associating consumption of dark chocolate with lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation.
Chocolate contains flavonoids – which are naturally-occurring compounds found in plant-based foods that offer certain health benefits. There are more than 4,000 flavonoid compounds, which are found in a wide variety of food and beverages, often found in chocolate. The polyphenols in chocolate actually inhibit clumping of blood platelets and reduces the risk of hardening of the arteries, otherwise known as Atherosclerosis. Studies have also shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate daily can reduce blood pressure in people with mild hypertension.
*Information and case studies taken from Harvard University April 2009 study and Huffington Post 2/22/11 article. **