Give Dark Chocolate on Valentine’s Day for Health?

People love to give chocolate on Valentine’s Day. But can it be healthy for you too?  In the recent years cocoa and dark chocolate, have been studied for their potential health benefits.  It is believed that cocoa and dark chocolate could reduce the risk for heart disease.  This is largely due to the special antioxidants found in cocoa and dark chocolate, called flavanols.  Research has shown that flavanols can help lower blood pressure, decrease the stickiness of platelets (potentially decreasing clotting ability) and improve blood flow to the brain and heart. Do these positive findings mean that a supersized chocolate bar is good for you?  No. … Continue reading

Heart Healthy Diet

February is National Heart Health Month.  Only 1/2 of all heart attack and stroke victims have elevated cholesterol levels.  There are other factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure and elevated blood sugars.  A heart healthy diet can help to keep your heart and circulatory system healthy, flexible and clear. Key Factors for a Heart Healthy Diet A heart healthy diet is one that does not raise blood pressure, blood sugars or triglycerides.  It keeps LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) low and HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) high.  A heart healthy diet supports good immune function by discouraging clotting and reducing oxidative stress within the blood vessels.  All of these factors help to keep your heart and circulatory system healthy, flexible and clear. … Continue reading

Get Heart Healthy!

February is National Heart Health Month.  This is a great month to try out foods that are heart healthy. As we age, cells are more often damaged by “free radicals”.  “Free radicals” are a group of reactive and unstable atoms or groups of atoms that can circulate within the body.  When these “free radicals” bump into the DNA of cells, they often will cause damage to the cells.  This sort of damage can cause lesions within the arteries which can then lead to heart disease. … Continue reading