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The top 5 reasons to eat chocolate on Valentine's Day

Dustin James, MD, also known as The Tummy Doc, is a board-certified gastroenterologist and founder of Enteral Health & Nutrition. He is also the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Digestive Health. For more information, visit Entera...

Eat more chocolate

Valentine’s Day is a day of love, but it is also a time for chocolate. Feeling guilty? You shouldn’t. Chocolate is experiencing a medical renaissance of late. Over the past several years, numerous medical studies have demonstrated that people who ate chocolate regularly experienced health benefits.

Happy woman eating chocolate

Top 5 health reasons to take a bite of chocolate

1

Chocolate can make
you a genius

A recent study demonstrated that countries whose populations ate more chocolate produced the most Nobel Prize winners. The researchers hypothesized that the beneficial effects of chocolate on brain function may explain this thoughtful observation.

2

Chocolate can help
you do better math

A medical study out of Britain revealed that students who regularly ate chocolate could subtract better than those who did not! Not only can chocolate help you balance your checkbook, but it will make you a hero to your kids when they need help with math homework.

3

Chocolate boosts
your heart health

Several studies published over the past few years have demonstrated heart benefits. In the first, men who ate chocolate on a regular basis reduced their risk of a stroke by 20 percent. An Australian study revealed that men who ate chocolate on a regular basis (and a fair amount at that, about 3.5 ounces per day) had a decreased risk of heart attack. Another large medical review showed that regular “users” of dark chocolate had less hypertension. In all cases, the benefits were most likely the result of the powerful antioxidants in the cocoa bean.

Healthy chocolate eating guidelines

When given the choice, dark chocolate always comes out on top. Not only is it a more potent source of antioxidants, it is lower in calories, has a more favorable glycemic index and is higher in fiber.

How much is too much? Although controversial, a safe bet is to stick to about half an ounce per day of chocolate (a little more than a chocolate square). Although a healthy treat, it still contains a fair amount of fat and sugar. A single serving also has a little caffeine, about 5 to 10 percent of the amount of a cup of drip coffee.

4

Chocolate is for
happy babies

A Finnish study showed that mothers who ate chocolate on a daily basis while pregnant had babies who were less fussy, more likely to smile and laugh, and were just plain happier. Happy moms mean happy babies.

5

Chocolate is your
perfect match

Did you know that the melting temperature of chocolate is the same as the human body temperature? Coincidence? I think not! And just think of how happy you feel when you and chocolate have a delicious date.

More healthy Valentine's Day tips

How not to gain weight on Valentine's Day
A tasty Valentine's Day menu for the slim and sexy
10 Sexy and fit ways to celebrate Valentine's Day

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