Chocolate & Wine; A Valentine’s Must-Have, but are they really good for you?

Red_wine_and_chocolateEven though you’ve probably heard it a thousand times already, Happy New Year! Although the year may be filled to the brim with goals and aspirations, we both know that one day at a time usually provides the best results. As successful dieters, we’ve learned that self control and diligence should be used in unison with most everything we do, but what about chocolate & wine? Well, let’s start out with chocolate, which may not go well with your favorite vintage, yet there are a number of health benefits to both than we may have originally assumed. This Valentine’s Day, one or the other or both may end up taking center stage on your list of romantic activities.

Is chocolate really a no-no? Hardly; consuming mild-to-moderate portions of the delicious treat may be beneficial to your health, which of course includes a balanced and healthy diet. While chocolate may have been demonized in the past, current medical research is suggesting that cocoa has tremendous amounts of antioxidant properties.

Eating chocolate bars that contain plant sterols [PSs] and cocoa flavanols [CFs] in conjunction with a low-fat diet can have a positive effect on both cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Another surprising find is that consuming hot chocolate may actually help to keep brain activity sharp in middle-aged and older people by maintaining adequate blood flow to certain areas of the brain.

Surprised? Well, it gets even better. Heart disease and stroke risk may also be minimized by consuming chocolate containing PSs and CFs, yet moderation is the key here; the same principle applies to imbibing wine, which also has some health-related beneficial attributes.

Wine consumption, especially the red varieties, can provide a number of healthy benefits. It’s important to remember that drinking moderate levels of wine can provide the following pluses; it’s also crucial to note that the effects of wine absorption are different between women and men, body type, age, weight, and metabolisms.

Wine can help to reduce the risk of acquiring depression, colon cancer, breast cancer, and dementia. Numerous clinical studies have proven that resveratrol, an ingredient contained in grapes, certain nuts, blueberries, and a number of nature’s goodies, is important to overall health in general. With red wine especially, denser amounts of resveratrol are present, as opposed to white wine.

The prevention of type II diabetes has also been linked to red wine consumption, and the more research that is conducted, the likelihood of additional benefits are favorable when it comes to having a few glasses of wine each week.

We hope that you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and we also hope the above information will help your dieting plans become a little more palatable!