February 10, 2010

Chocoholic's Day

With Valentines Day right around the corner there is no better way to show someone you love them than with a box of chocolates…or is there? How about with a box of healthy chocolates!

In 2004, researchers put together a diet called the Polymeal. Their research showed that if this diet was followed closely and eaten everyday, it would reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by a whopping 75%. One of the key factors to improving heart health is… chocolate! The diet also included wine, fish, nuts, garlic, fruits and vegetables.

Cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, contains flavanols. Important compounds that promote healthy blood flow, flavanols reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Unfortunately, not all chocolate contains enough cocoa to promote good health. Only chocolate containing 70% cocoa or higher has enough flavanols to provide health benefits. You can tell how healthy chocolate is by how it tastes -- the more bitter it is, the healthier it is.

Try to stay away from milk chocolate, white chocolate and any chocolate mixed with caramel or other sweets since they don’t contain any of these health benefits. As I often have to remind my fiancĂ©… moderation is key!

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