Valentine's Day is a time when people show feelings of love, affection and friendship. It is celebrated in many ways worldwide. February is also American Heart Month. "Heart disease is the leading killer of Americans, taking the lives of 2,200 people each day. In addition, 103 million adults have high blood pressure and 6.5 million are living with heart failure".
Here's some alarming statistics about heart disease in the United States, according to a report published by the American Heart Association:
1) By 2030, it's estimated that 43 percent of the population will have some form of heart disease.
2) On average, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every four minutes.
3) Heart disease accounts for 31.5 % of all deaths worldwide.
4) Between 2000-2012, the use of cholesterol-lowering treatments and statins among adults each increased by 10%.
5) 11% of children and adolescents 8 to 17 years old have high or borderline high blood pressure.
With Valentine's Day around the corner, how could I not send something out about chocolate?!
Chocolate is the only ingredient that is its very own food group.
Well not really—but it seems as if it should be. Powerfully comforting, creamy, delicious—many people eat chocolate at least several times a week.
Which begs the question…
Is Chocolate Good for You?
The answer is both yes and no.
Chocolate has been used for centuries to treat bronchitis, sexual malaise, fatigue, hangovers, anemia, depression, memory loss, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and more. It also helps release that feel-good neurotransmitter—serotonin—in the brain.
But eat the wrong kind and you’ll get loads of sugar, calories, and junky ingredients.
How to Eat it Responsibly
Chocolate begins life as raw cacao (pronounced kah-kow) beans. Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and plant phenols, cacao is a powerful superfood. The more processed cacao becomes, however—think commercially produced candy bars—the fewer healt...