Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day - Eat Dark Chocolate

Ladies, read this article from Fit called 5 Healthy Reasons to Eat Valentine's Day Chocolate on the benefits of dark chocolate.

1.  It helps you exercise longer: A recent study found that eating a tiny amount of dark chocolate before a workout helps fight fatigue, which means you can go that much further during your workout. The amount that worked in the study was tiny — just half a square — but if it's good quality chocolate, a small square will go a long way.

2.  It's stress relieving: And not just when you're PMSing. A study found that when highly stressed participants ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate (the equivalent of a Hershey's bar) a day for two weeks, the level of stress hormones in their bodies dropped significantly. While eating a candy bar a day can contribute to a whole new set of stresses if you're watching your weight, it's nice to know that dark chocolate has a measurable effect on stress levels.

3.  It's heart-healthy: A study found that dark chocolate increases blood flow, which helps keep your ticker in top shape. Those who ate a small amount of chocolate a day had increased blood flow due to more-dilated blood vessels as well as better heart function.

4.  It's good when you're sick: If you can't get the rest you need because of a nagging cough, try dark chocolate. The theobromine, an ingredient in dark chocolate, has been proven to suppress a cough, but just be careful — if you're trying to go to sleep, remember that a dark chocolate Hershey's bar has 30 milligrams of caffeine, which is the equivalent to a cup of tea.

5.  It lowers blood pressure: Increasing blood flow also helps your heart in another way. A study found that eating a small square of dark chocolate a day helps regulate your blood pressure by increasing blood flow as well as dilating blood vessels and releasing nitric oxide. If you're managing your blood pressure levels, a daily, small dose of dark chocolate may help.

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