Chocolate and Heart Health

By: Lilli Rozanski MS, RDN, LDN, Sports and Fitness Dietitian, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center

It’s no coincidence that Valentine’s Day falls in the month that focuses on heart health. When you think of Valentine’s Day, for most people, the first thing that pops into their mind is chocolate. According to a growing amount of research, chocolate can help lead to better heart health.

Chocolate, especially dark, contains a plethora of nutrients including antioxidants (which help reduce inflammation), magnesium and iron. One study found that habitual chocolate consumers had a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke compared to those who didn’t eat chocolate. Although dark chocolate does have good health benefits, it is high in calories. If wanting to include chocolate in your diet, choose at least 60%-70% dark chocolate and consume 1 ounce maximum per day to help keep calories and saturated fat in check.

Check out these 5 recipes that can help make your Valentine’s Day a little healthier!

Avocado Chocolate Mousse from Heart and Bowl

Black Bean Chocolate Protein Truffles from Ambitious Kitchen

No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake Bars from HealthyRecipesBlogs

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes from Recipe Runner

Omega Chocolate Bars from A Healthy Life for Me