When you see red roses and chocolates everywhere you turn, you know it’s Valentine’s Day or there’s a love story brewing. We often commemorate love with chocolates as it’s believed to heighten romantic desires or because it’s sweet smell and luscious texture makes it a suitable gift for any occasion. Afterall, who doesn’t like chocolates? They are tempting, tasty and can be good for the heart too.
Chocolate contains chemicals which are good for our health and can help to prevent against numerous types of illnesses. Such chemicals include:
In addition to the benefits which chocolate can provide for heart health, it has also been found to contain the following substances:
To get the best effects from chocolate, select only dark chocolates, made from real cocoa. Such products will contain levels of cocoa measuring between 70-85%, meaning that for every 100 grams of chocolate eaten, 70-85% will be cocoa.
Although dark chocolate contains small amounts of sugar and milk, this doesn’t mean that they are not there at all. Hence, any chocolate should be eaten in moderation. Studies into the subject have found that eating around 100 grams of dark chocolate over the course of a day, more than one day a week, can be beneficial to heart and blood vessel health, without increasing blood lipid levels or the size of your waistline. This hearty snack can work well as a pre-workout fuel and gifted guilt free this Valentine’s Day.
Master of Science in Clinical and Public Health Nutrition (Distinction). UCL Division of Medicine, London. , 2016