The health benefits of dark chocolate, red wine and being in love
By Brittany Anas
Our Valentine’s Day treat to you comes in the form of good news: Dark chocolate and red wine can actually be good for you. In moderation, of course.
We are a nation of candy-ivores, according to the U.S. Census Bureau that released Valentine’s-themed data recently. Did you know that 1,155 places in the United States manufacture chocolate?
If you’re going to eat chocolate and drink wine today as part of your Valentine’s celebration — opt for dark chocolate and red wine. They have nutritional benefits not found in lighter chocolates or white wines.
• The candy contains phenylethylamine (aren’t you glad that word never came up in your sixth grade spelling bee?). That same chemical is the one your brain pumps out when you have a crush.
• Dark chocolate increases blood flow and can even reduce the risk of strokes.
• Most candies make your dentist cringe. But, dark chocolate actually hardens your tooth enamel because it contains theobromine. Another fun fact about theobromine, which is the bitter part of the cocoa plant, is that it can tame coughs. A British company is developing a drug with the theobromine to treat persistent coughs.
• The resveratrol that is in the skins of grapes could lower the risk of diabetes because it reduces insulin resistance. The compound can help diabetics keep their blood sugar levels in check.
• The grapes smashed up to be used in red wine have potential to lower “bad cholesterol” levels. Lower cholesterol translates to less risk for heart attacks. Also antioxidants in red wine known as “polyphenols” can prevent clotting because they give flexibility to our blood vessels.
• Resveratrol could also help with your brain function. (This of course could be negated if you’ve had too much to drink). It combats the beta-amyloid protein, which is found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
Being in love:
• When we’re in love, our skin can actually emit a healthy glow. The reason? Being in a happy relationship can reduce stress and coritsol levels, which can cause pimples. Also, when you’ve been struck by Cupid’s arrow, your body releases an anti-aging hormone that restores cells.
• Lovebirds heal faster, according to a study from Ohio State University. (On the contrary, hostile relationships can slow down the healing process).
Other articles you might also like:
• Cops and robbers on bikes and other ways to exercise with your kids
• The best free food journals and how they can accelerate your weight loss
• Lifeguarding to pro football offers: Who were America’s fittest presidents?
• Face-time: Simple ways to get a more youthful look
• Five yummy ‘superfoods’ you should be eating if you want to lose weight
• Diet secrets and work-out regimens of runway models