February is American Heart Month, which is when we focus on good cardiovascular health. Programs like Go Red for Women highlight the fact that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of American women.
February is also Valentine’s Day, which is when we love to give chocolate to people we care about.
Well, did you know that dark chocolate is actually heart-healthy?
Dark chocolate, with 70 percent or higher cocoa content, can be a good source of resveratrol and cocoa phenols (flavonoids). Both are essential to heart health. Flavanal, a plant antioxidant, helps widen blood vessels and increases blood flow in the brain.
Studies show that daily consumption of dark chocolate lowered people’s blood pressure an average of two to three points.
Now, don’t think you can just eat a lot of dark chocolate candy bars; the sugar and fat contents of candy are counterproductive. You can mix a concentrated cocoa powder into a drink and take it that way.