Feb 08 2021

Can Chocolate Be Healthy?

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and with that often comes chocolates.

If you’re planning on indulging in some chocolatey treats this holiday, we have some (mostly) good news for you.

Studies suggest that the key ingredient in chocolate—cocoa—contains nutrients that may improve heart and brain health!

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) flavanols, a naturally occurring antioxidant found in cocoa, could improve heart health and brain function, especially in older adults. Dark chocolate is found to have more flavanols which is why you may have heard that dark chocolate is better for you.

Researchers are beginning to study more health benefits of cocoa supplements. Unfortunately, cocoa supplements are much more potent than a dark chocolate bar. Moreover, chocolate contains a lot of calories and saturated fat due to both the added sugar and cocoa butter.

In short, if you’re going to indulge this holiday, follow these simple tips suggested by the NIH:

  • Consume those Valentine chocolates in moderation and watch your total calories.
  • Try to find dark chocolate, which has higher amounts of flavanols.
  • Avoid white and milk chocolates which contain little to no cocoa.
  • If you’re drinking hot chocolate, make it with unsweetened cocoa.
  • Other Valentine’s Day foods that are good sources of flavanols include blueberries, cherries, and red wine!

Here is a recipe for a delicious breakfast chocolate treat! And, a video for further instruction. Enjoy!

This Valentine’s Day give the gift of flavanols!

Tara Willis

Health Coach & Client Coordinator