Why? Dark chocolate contains lots of healthy antioxidants, iron, calcium and vitamins that nourish your skin. Made from beans harvested from the cocoa tree, delicious dark chocolate contains more than 60 percent of cocoa solids, is low in sugar and made with cocoa butter, a saturated fat not associated with elevating LDL (bad) cholesterol. Valentine’s Day can be made even more special with dark chocolates made from organic or fairly traded cocoa beans. Like skin care products, the benefits reaped are only as good as the ingredients.
For its ability to nourish the body, dark chocolate is included in The Healing Foods Pyramid developed by the Integrative Medicine Department at the University of Michigan. They recommend eating up to 7 ounces a week or 1 ounce per day. Other researchers found that dark chocolate is a richer source of polyphenols and flavanols than fruit juice. Flavonols are clinically proven to help protect skin from sunburn and other damage caused by UV rays. Cocoa can even reduce stress hormones. Less stress means less collagen breakdown and less wrinkles.
You may be wondering whether milk chocolate or white chocolate contain the same benefits. No, they don’t. Because milk binds to antioxidants in chocolate the health benefits are cancelled. So forget the chocolate milk and hot cocoa as a dark chocolate substitute. For the same reason, avoid drinking milk while eating dark chocolate. White chocolate doesn’t contain cocoa solids so it won’t include the antioxidant benefit either.
If your sweetie doesn’t present you with a box of dark chocolates, you can still order a delicious dessert of fruit dipped in melted dark chocolate after a romantic meal at your favorite restaurant. If you don’t get chocolates or a meal, relax at home with a jar of YASOU hydrating body cream. You’re skin will love it. (photo of chocolate: Lisa Folios/pexels)