So you got a box of chocolate from your Valentine. How sweet (literally)!
But what if you’re following the NV Perricone anti-inflammatory diet? Do you need to throw the box away (and scold your Valentine for sabotaging your diet)?
In this article, find out what Dr. NV Perricone thinks of chocolate. It may surprise you.
Look at your Valentine’s Day box label to see if the chocolate contains 85% cocoa. Chocolates made with this amount of cocoa are less packed with sugar, so you can reap the benefits without raising your blood sugar level to unhealthy levels. Chocolate has a low glycemic index.
So why is chocolate healthy?
For one, Dr. NV Perricone stresses the importance of antioxidants to help fight signs of aging. And chocolate contains high levels of phenolics, powerful antioxidants that fight free radical cell damage, which often leads to chronic conditions such as cancer and signs of skin aging.
In fact, 1996 study reported that a 1.5 ounce milk chocolate bar contained about the same amount of total phenolic compounds as a 5-ounce serving of red wine. The antioxidants in dark chocolate and cocoa may also help the impaired circulation and unhealthy blood vessels that often precede diabetes development. They may even improve the body’s cells’ sensitivity to insulin and glucose.
Chocolate is also mood boosting. It contains phenylethylamine and fat, both of which boosts the body’s production of endorphins, a chemical in the brain that leads to feelings of contentment. And because of its sugar content, chocolate also increases the level of serotonin, another feel-good chemical that produces feelings of relaxation. (No wonder it’s hard to eat just one piece.)
Including a small amount of cocoa powder and dark chocolate may increase good cholesterol (LDL) levels, while keeping bad cholesterol (HDL) levels the same. Plus, dark chocolate contains high levels of chromium, a substance proven to help restore a more normal function in cells to better control blood sugar.
All of this sounds great, but this doesn’t mean you should eat an endless supply of chocolate, even Hershey’s doesn’t recommend that. But it does mean chocolate can be beneficial as part of your healthy, balanced NV Perricone diet.