Valentines Day…Maybe It’s Love Maybe It’s Chocolate


Chocolate comes from the cacao pod. Chocolate starts when beans are extracted from the pod and are then processed into cocoa and several steps later cocoa powder is produced which is utilized in baking. Cacao is packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients that promote wellness and protect the body from the effects of aging.

Dark chocolate in particular has many health benefits. Cocoa consists of flavanols (plant chemicals) which help protect the heart.  Flavanols support the production of nitric oxide which help the blood vessels relax and improve blood flow, lowering blood pressure.  In addition studies have shown that cocoa reduces inflammation which also helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

A recent study found that eating 40g (almost an 1.5 ounces) of dark chocolate daily for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in anxious individuals. The study showed that compounds within it boosted beneficial gut bacteria which then changed the metabolism of stress hormones reducing anxiety.

Other benefits of dark chocolate may include increasing insulin sensitivity and possibly reducing the risk of diabetes. In addition it is rich in iron, magnesium, zinc and copper. It also may naturally elevate mood and enhance focus.

So a little bit of dark chocolate can be a guilt-free snack, or a great Valentine’s Day Gift!



  1. Accessed on June 1, 2020
  2. Accessed on June 26, 2020