Dark chocolate for Valentine’s Day and heart health!

February 13, 2012


Dark CHOCOLATE! …I can see you smiling as you get an endorphin and serotonin boost at just the thought of chocolate! With Valentine’s Day around the corner and with February being American Heart Health month it’s time to talk about chocolate. Not just any chocolate, but good quality dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate that is at least 70-80 percent cocoa is the best choice because it has less sugar (and sugar is toxic and addicting) and more cocoa, which is rich in antioxidants and flavonols (a class of plant-based compounds that provide many of the same benefits as antioxidants).

Chocolate does improve mood and create feelings of joy – we can all relate to this! And dark chocolate certainly does have heart benefits. This is important because heart disease is still the number one cause of death in the United States.

Moderate consumption of dark chocolate has been shown to be beneficial for heart health by:

And interestingly, dark chocolate may offer protection against cancer due to the “high concentration of catechins and procyanidins”

But here are a few questions to ask yourself as you indulge:

  • Do you devour the whole bar of chocolate rather than a small piece? (the key here is moderate consumption!)
  • Do you binge on chocolate and then feel awful afterwards – physically (really icky!?) and emotionally (the guilt-trip deal?)
  • Does it make you anxious or more stressed or keep you awake? Caffeine is found in all forms of chocolate and cacao (other than white chocolate); the darker the chocolate, the more caffeine it contains!
  • Do you suffer from migraines (sadly, chocolate gives me a terrible headache two days later!)
  • Do you experience breast tenderness leading up to your period?

If you answer yes to any of the above then you really should reconsider if chocolate is for you this Valentine’s Day! And give delicious carob a trial instead.

In Finland Valentine’s Day is called “Friend’s day” and is more about remembering all your friends, not only your loved ones. I wish you, your loved ones and your friends a happy and wonderful Valentine’s Day and a happy healthy heart – both physically and emotionally!


Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

17 Responses to “Dark chocolate for Valentine’s Day and heart health!”

  1. Happy Valentine’s Day. I think I’ll have myself a *little* dark chocolate! Thanks for the info! XO, Katherine.

    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Enjoy Katherine and Happy Valentine’s day to you too! Trudy

  2. You don’t need to encourage me, LOL! Happy Valentine’s to you, too.

    everywomanover29 Reply:

    and to you too Sue! Trudy

  3. Dark chocolate is the best and thanks for allowing us to have a little piece every now and then. This really helps when you desire a special treat!…pep

    everywomanover29 Reply:

    You are too funny – LOL! enjoy your special treat!

  4. Trudy,

    Finally I’m doing something right. I love dark chocolate. Problem is I love it with wine and coffee. :)


    Lisa Manyon

  5. Trudy,
    Yes, a big fan of Dark Chocolate, in moderation.

  6. At one point in my life I used to be a “choc-aholic” I was the person who could easily finish a 2 lb bag of M&M’s lick my lips and look around for more. As I began to take control of my health and my nutrition I discovered that I was physically unable to consume that much chocolate. As I got even healthier I lost my craving for it.

    Now I enjoy a little dark chocolate now and then but find that I am often satisfied with just one square. My favorite is 72% and with almonds.

    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Yay Mira! and I can relate to being a “choc-aholic” – I grew up in a family of “choc-aholic”s. My mom fed us real whole food (no fast food for us ever!) and chocolate was our one big indulgence

  7. I must admit, dark chocolate is my FAVORITE treat! One additional thing to note on the downside of chocolate, is that unless you are buying 100% GMO-free organic kind, most brands you buy in the US contains Genetically Modified soy lecithin. Terrible! Read why GMO ingredients are bad here: http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/why-should-i-avoid-gmos.html

    Happily, I found an amazing Italian organic dark chocolate from Beyond Organic which is GMO-free, and contains probiotics and flaxseeds to make you feel extra good about consuming it! It’s delicious. You can find it online here. I became a distributor since I’m quite hooked on my dark chocolate :-) http://annika.mybeyondorganic.com/Web/us/en/products-chocolate-beyond-overview.dhtml

    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Thanks for sharing the info about GMO soy lecithin and your resource

  8. Chocolate is such a funny thing… emotionally speaking it is about seeking sensuality and desire (whether in career or in personal life) along with spiritual contact intuition.

    From a physiological standpoint if you eat tons of chocolate and can not get enough it… it could be a magnesium deficiency as well….

    Now Valentine’s for whatever reason (on a personal note here) has the best chocolate next to Easter! Now what is it about chocolate and those to holidays……

    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Very true about chocolate and magnesium deficiency. And chocolate and holidays = money! big money!

  9. Love it Lisa… what wine do you have your chocolate with…ohhh and strawberries too?

  10. Mmmmm … Yes! I’ll indulge and I’m happy to hear that in moderation, dark chocolate also has good effects!

    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Jennifer – that was quite a long Mmmmmm … :)

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