Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and that means two things are in your future, some quality time with your significant other and a serious dose of chocolate. This indulgent treat has gotten a bad rap; the right kind of chocolate can actually be healthy and good for your body. We aren’t saying that you should go out and start eating every heart-shaped box of chocolates that you can find, but in moderation, chocolate has many health benefits. So how can you stay healthy and on track this Valentine’s Day? Balance your diet and hit your exercise goals this year with the help of the nutritionists and workout specialists at your local Five Seasons Family Sports Club.
If you are going to be eating chocolate this Valentine’s Day, you should drop some hints that you are interested in dark chocolate. Dark chocolate with a high cacao content value actually provides a lot of nutrition, antioxidants, and can even help your blood flow. Dark chocolate is also filled with a solid amount of soluble fiber that will help your overall digestion.
The nutritional value of any given chocolate bar varies wildly depending on the ingredients in the chocolate. The average 100-gram bar of 70-85% cacao dark chocolate has the following health benefits:
-Over 10 grams of fiber
-70% of your recommended daily intake of iron
-60% of your recommended daily intake of magnesium
-90% of your recommended daily intake of copper
-98% of your recommended daily intake of manganese
Dark chocolate also contains potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium. These minerals may not be at the front of your mind every day, but they each serve important health benefits for your mind and body. We don’t recommend that you eat 100 grams of chocolate every day, but on Valentine’s Day, even we make exceptions!
Antioxidants are one the biggest buzzwords in diet culture, rightfully so! Antioxidants help protect your cells from damage caused by harmful molecules known as free radicals which accumulate and cause a state known as oxidative stress. The science behind these free radicals and how they relate to your overall health is still in the research stages, but many studies have shown that antioxidants provide multiple health benefits. The cacao in dark chocolate is chocked full of antioxidants, rivaling blueberries and acai as one of the best sources of antioxidants that you can find.
Improved Blood Flow
Dark chocolate is a strong source of flavanols, which in turn stimulate the lining of your arteries to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide causes your arteries to relax which lowers resistance for your blood and can actually reduce your blood pressure.
Dark chocolate is a great source of nutrition, antioxidants, and can provide you with multiple health benefits. This Valentine’s Day, skip the sugar-laden candy and hit the dark chocolate! If you are looking for nutrition advice or want to push your body to new heights, contact one of the elite nutritionists and trainers at your local Five Seasons Family Sports Club. Happy Valentine’s Day!