Flowers and chocolates are traditional Valentine’s Day gifts, symbolizing love and affection. But flowers won’t cause you to gain weight or break out, even if you eat them! Is chocolate truly unhealthy? Let’s take a closer look.
Myth or Fact: Chocolate can help with weight loss.
Fact! Of course, quantity is a huge factor. But I was surprised to find research that shows chocolate can help you LOSE weight! The flavonoids in dark chocolate can help reduce insulin resistance. That prevents blood sugar spikes which in turn discourages you from overeating! And believe it or not, a study showed that smelling chocolate instead of eating it can also curb your appetite!
Myth or Fact. Chocolate can cause accelerated heart rate, anxiety, heartburn and headaches.
Fact! Chocolate contains caffeine. If you have sensitivities, any of the above are possible side effects.
Myth or Fact: Eating chocolate causes acne.
Myth! There is no evidence of a correlation between consumption of chocolate and skin breakouts. In fact, chocolate is good for your skin. The antioxidants in cocoa’s flavonoids protect our body’s cells from free radicals. Research also shows that flavonoids absorb UV light, improve blood flow, increase hydration and improve skin texture. Hmmm…Valentine’s Day could be the perfect time for a chocolate facial!
Myth or Fact: Chocolate is good for your brain.
Fact! Good news! A recent study by Italian scientists revealed an improvement in cognition, processing speed, attention and working memory. Flavonols, a component in all chocolate, is responsible for this desirable outcome. And guess what? Eating chocolate every day leads to long term improvement in all the above. Dark chocolate is higher in flavonols, so for best results rely on the higher cocoa content varieties.
Science trumps myth. Yes! It is Worth It! Enjoy a sweet treat or two this Valentine’s Day. Just remember, darker is better and moderation is key.