Dark Chocolate and Red Wine for a Healthy Valentine’s Day

Dark Chocolate and Red Wine for a Healthy Valentine's Day

Are you looking to pamper your valentine with a special evening, while still remaining health-conscious?  The delicious combination of dark chocolate truffles and a glass of red wine offer the perfect recipe for a romantic evening, with wellness benefits to boot.  According to Susan Ofria, a registered dietician at Loyola University, “red wine and dark chocolate have positive components that are actually good for your heart.”

With the wide variety of Valentine’s Day chocolates available, selecting dark chocolate, as long as it contains 70% cocoa or higher, is ideal.  Dark chocolate contains cocoa solids, which are rich in flavonols, compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Mee Young Hong, PhD, an associate professor and researcher at San Diego State University, conducted a study comparing consumption of white chocolate, which contains no cocoa solids, to dark chocolate.  The participants in the study who ate dark chocolate showed a 20% increase in ‘good cholesterol’ and a 20% decrease in ‘bad cholesterol’ compared to those who ate white chocolate.

There is also evidence that dark chocolate aids in regulating blood sugar levels, as a result of antioxidants assisting the body in processing insulin more effectively.  Eric Ding, PhD, a nutritional epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, theorizes that dark chocolate may also lower blood pressure.

Recent studies have shown that one or two glasses of red wine per day support optimal health.  Like dark chocolate, red wine contains reservatrol, and has a positive effect on blood sugar regulation and fat accumulation prevention.  It also provides the benefit of catechins, which increase the body’s levels of ‘good cholesterol.’  To summarize, Julie B. Damp, M.D., states, “there are multiple observational studies suggesting moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with decreased incidence of cardiovascular disease, including lower risk of heart attacks.”

Dark Chocolate and Red Wine for a Healthy Valentine's DaySo, for your perfect Valentine’s Day dessert, make sure that the chocolate is dark and the wine is red.  For an added healthy treat, add berries to the mix.  Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are a plentiful source of lutein, carotene, vitamin C, fiber and potassium, and boast anti-aging properties. And if that gets you in the mood to have a little fun in the bedroom, go for it! There are plenty of health benefits of that particular exercise.  Bon appetit!

– The Alternative Daily 


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