The Sweet Truth
February is notorious as the month of Valentine's Day, but it is also Chocolate Lover's Month! Whether you love or hate Valentine's Day, there is always an abundant amount of chocolate lining the walls of grocery stores and convenience stores dedicated to this one day. However, there may be no reason to feel bad about indulging in some chocolate. Over the past few years, research studies have proven that small to moderate chocolate consumption is linked to lower risk of heart failure.
A study in 2010 produced by the American Heart Association looked at middle-aged elderly Swedish woman and discovered that women who consumed an average of one to two servings of high-quality (defined as darker or containing more cocoa) chocolate per week had a 32% lower risk of developing heart failure. Chocolate is known to be high in flavonoids, which contain antioxidants and may lower blood pressure and improve blood flow. Antioxidants are important because they are believed to help the body's cells resist damage from free radicals.
Ever since research studies have concluded on the health benefits of dark chocolate, more media sites have jumped on the chocolate bandwagon. Popular magazines such as Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, and Her Campus have also written about the many health benefits from eating some dark chocolate. Improved skin and eye sight, reduced stress, and sun protection are a few examples that they list. So for those of us who have sworn off chocolate or sweets for the New Year, we may be better off eating a little more chocolate. Enjoy!