Health Benefits in a Heart-Shaped Box

on

|

views

and

comments

Health Benefits in a Heart-Shaped Box

Research cites chocolate as a powerful superfood, with positive effects on cholesterol and blood pressure. Read on to learn about its heart-health properties.

What do Valentine’s Day and heart health have in common? Chocolate, of course! So what better month than February to highlight the many heart and other health benefits of this popular Valentine’s Day gift?

Although we’ve been giving (and given) assorted chocolates in heart-shaped boxes for decades, these caramel- and sea foam-filled goodies aren’t the ones you want to eat if you intend to experience chocolate’s health benefits. It’s primarily the dark chocolates rich in cocoa polyphenols that provide the most health benefits.

Recent research has cited chocolate as a powerful superfood, with positive effects on cholesterol, blood pressure, and arterial plaque. In a 2011 study researchers analyzed cocoa polyphenols’ effects on cholesterol and noted that the polyphenols in chocolate not only increased HDL (good) cholesterol, but they also reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Further, a study from British Medical Journal cited that those who consumed the most chocolate were 37 percent less likely to develop heart disease and 29 percent likely to suffer a stroke than those who consumed the least amount of chocolate.

But chocolate’s health benefits extend beyond the heart. Research suggests that chocolate consumption may also benefit skin, brain function, digestion, and even eyesight, among other things.

So don’t feel guilty next time you break off a piece and indulge. Just 1 oz (28 g) of dark chocolate containing at least 70 percent cocoa is enough to give your health a boost. But as we’ve seen in recent studies, a little more won’t hurt you!

Cooking with chocolate is another way to obtain your daily dose of polyphenols. The following recipes feature chocolate in decadent and sometimes unlikely ways.

  • Chocolate Pu-erh Cakes with Cashew Ganache
  • Cocoa Tostadas
  • Red Chili with Chicken and Chocolate
  • Chocolate Truffles
  • Yogourt with Cocoa Nib Coffee Compote
  • Chocolate Fondue
Share this
Tags

Must-read

Seaside Inspiration for the Home

/media/k2/items/cache/e9c724eeb5636d1c1c1a2c2e85d40377_L.jpgSeaside Inspiration for the HomeTrips to the beach are popular getaways - but if you can\'t get to the beach, you can bring it to your home.F

Kid-Friendly Projects Fuel Winter Family Fun

/media/k2/items/cache/2a14beb1aee2d71c6fecb12f25c690f7_L.jpgKid-Friendly Projects Fuel Winter Family FunColder temperatures mean more indoor time, making it a challenge to find activities that will ke

To Dye For Eggs

/media/k2/items/cache/398a8bc2e3f7f879ff0986359513be80_L.jpgTo Dye For EggsDon\'t hide your eggs, display them! Use this guide for the Pantone® colors of the season as well as dazzling design technique
spot_img

Recent articles

More like this

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here