The sweetest Valentine’s Day treat for you and your body

Dark chocolate healthy

By: Carissa Janay

Feeling your sweet tooth heating up as this Valentine’s Day rolls around? Are you ready for a date with some Ben and Jerry’s? Wait just a minute. Just because Valentine’s Day is a holiday largely linked to candy consumption, it does not mean you have to blow all your goals. There is a healthy (and sweet) way to indulge in your favorite Valentine’s treat: Chocolate.

Did someone say chocolate?!

Simply stated, what the studies show: When eaten responsibly – i.e. in moderation – chocolate has plenty of health benefits.

The catch? Not all chocolate is created equal: To gain the benefits, stick to the dark stuff. First, dark chocolate lacks the dairy and sugar that milk chocolate has so it contains less calories, sugar and fat, automatically making it a better choice.

Second, when dark chocolate is at least 70% cacao, it contains phenols. What are phenols you ask? They’re plant compounds that support heart health, proper brain function, and even help control blood sugar levels. Think of them as you would of the antioxidants of red wine. As with wine, however, moderation is key. Even those phenols can’t redeem you from too much indulgence.

Finally, dark chocolate has been shown to release the same chemicals (phenylethylamine or PEA) in your body that your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. So sweet!

The takeaway: Save the candy hearts for their sayings, not your mouth, and instead let your taste buds say “be mine” to some chocolate. Just make sure to keep it of the dark variety, and share it with those you love. Sharing is caring, and moderation is key!

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