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There’s nothing quite like chocolate! The aroma, the flavor, and the melt-in-your-mouth goodness are enough to make anyone’s day. But, did you know that there are even more reasons to savor a piece of chocolate?
Enjoying moderate amounts of chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has some surprising health benefits, especially for seniors: improved cardiovascular heath, stress reduction, and improved vision, just to name a few!
Improved Cardiovascular Health – Dark chocolate has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, and help raise good cholesterol levels. Chocolate, like some fruits and vegetables, is high in flavanols. Flavanols help protect plants from environmental damage, and they help protect people, too!
Stress Reduction – Small, daily servings of dark chocolate reduce stress and act as a natural mood enhancer, especially for women. Chocolate increases production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness and contentment. Chocolate is also high in magnesium, which contributes to relaxation and better sleep.
Anti-Inflammatory – Chocolate is a known anti-inflammatory. Research has shown that the good microbes in your gut digest the antioxidants and fiber in cocoa, releasing anti-inflammatory compounds into the bloodstream.
Healthy Skin – Maybe when you were younger you heard that chocolate is bad for your skin. Good news: not only has this been debunked, but research has shown that chocolate is actually good for your skin! Sensitive skin is a natural part of aging, but chocolate with high levels of flavanols helps improve blood flow to the skin and protect skin against sunburn.
Cognition and Vision – A study from Oxford University showed that people over 70 who regularly ate chocolate scored higher on cognitive tests. The flavanols in chocolate improve blood flow to the brain and retina, resulting in mental sharpness and improved eyesight. Increased bloodflow to the brain helps keep cognition sharp and may also help protect against Alzheimer’s Disease.
Here at FountainView, we love a chocolate treat for all of these reasons. We have chocolate – and much more – on the menu in our kosher kitchen. See more about our kosher dining program.
FountainView at College Road is a glatt kosher senior living community in Rockland County, NY.