You'll likely run into heart-shaped chocolates in honor of Valentine’s Day this year. But did you ever stop to consider that the chocolate in your hand might be beneficial for your actual heart? According to the Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition, recent studies show that natural cocoa and dark chocolate may have properties that contribute to heart health such as reducing blood pressure and cholesterol.
Have a sweeter Valentine’s Day this year by incorporating moderate amounts cocoa and dark chocolate into your lifestyle. Here are a few tips and recipes to get you started:
- Take a look at Hershey’s Perfect Portion Guide to help you visually determine how much of common foods to eat. Did you know that 1 oz. of dark chocolate is about the size of a matchbox?
- Enjoy chocolate as part of a balanced, homemade snack by adding bits of dark chocolate to yogurt, trail mix or low fat ice cream.
- Try incorporating a little cocoa into everyday meals, such as this recipe for Cocoa Spiced Beef Stir Fry.
- Indulge for 100 calories or less with HERSHEY’S portion-controlled chocolate such as:
* HERSHEY’S KISSES SPECIAL DARK Dark Chocolates – 5 pieces
* HERSHEY’S BLISS Dark Chocolates – 3 pieces
* HERSHEY’S EXTRA DARK Dark Chocolate Tasting Squares – 2 pieces
For more information about the health benefits of cocoa, please visit the Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition website.
These tips were provided by Hershey's. Enjoy your heart-healthy - and tasty - Valentine's Day treats!