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Thursday is Valentine’s Day

Sarah Cunningham, Registered Dietitian

February 19, 2019

Thursday is Valentine’s Day

Have you bought your box of chocolates yet?

What would Valentine’s Day be without chocolate? Well, OK. It might still be lovely. But chocolate has come to take on tremendous significance as a “gift of choice” for the holiday.

But in addition to being a thoughtful gift, it can also be a healthy choice – not only on February 14th, but year round.

Besides tasting good, cocoa can boost your mood. It can increase blood flow to the brain, which can be particularly important for older people experiencing memory issues. Dark chocolate is also loaded with nutrients, like magnesium, iron, and potassium. The oil in dark chocolate contains the same fat that you would find in olive oil – and we already know how olive oil helps raise good cholesterol.

How to enjoy chocolate?

As in all things, moderation is important. Slowly savor one or two ounces (check the serving size on the wrapper) after dinner. Or, make yourself a hot cocoa without cream or sugar if you are watching your calories.

And the darker the chocolate the better. Again, check the label and aim for 70% of cacao or higher for the greatest health benefits. Dark chocolate generally contains less sugar.

Happy Valentine’s Day!