Chocolate is a staple of Valentine's Day, and for good reason... so if your running to the store this V-Day for that last minute gift, it's your best way to go!
Flavonoids is a main ingredient in most chocolate, which is a type of antioxidant that has been shown to have health benefits for the very target of your Cupid's arrow – THE HEART.
Eating chocolate this holiday could actually benefit more than any another gift. Here's the rundown on which is best for you and your loved one's heart.....
- Cocoa powder: Cocoa powder ranks highest in flavonoids, and is also lower in calories than dark or milk chocolate. Try creating a custom cocoa drink for your sweetie, or look for chocolates dusted with real cocoa powder.
- Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate is a great source of flavonoids, though it contains about twice the fat and calories of cocoa powder. Its intense flavor makes it best for savoring, meaning one small square can often satisfy a sweet tooth craving. Look for the highest cocoa content you can find.
- Milk chocolate: Milk chocolate has about the same calories as dark chocolate, but it often contains no flavonoids at all. Flavonoids are only present if you find cocoa solids or cocoa liquor on the ingredient list, so if you're looking for heart benefits, check to make sure you know what you're getting.
- Chocolate candies: Chocolate candies (like M&Ms) have similar fat and calories as straight-up chocolate, but they tend to have candy shells that add artificial colors and flavors to the mix. Again, check for cocoa solids or cocoa liquor if your'e looking for flavonoids – it's likely you won't find them.
- White chocolate: White chocolate does contain cocoa butter, but it does not contain any cocoa solids or cocoa liquor, so it does not offer any heart health benefits. It's a bit of a stretch to call it chocolate at all!