Chocolate is good for you — in moderation

Chocolate (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Sally Squires, who writes the Lean Plate Club™ blog, said chocolate has some sneaky benefits for your physical well-being. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

With Valentine’s Day on Friday (clock is ticking …), here’s a reminder that the traditional treat of chocolate is a boost to your health, in proper portions.

Sally Squires, who writes the Lean Plate Club™ blog, said chocolate has some sneaky benefits for your physical well-being.

Squires listed “lower risk of type 2 diabetes, protection against aging and other degenerative diseases, and great heart benefits” as some of the perks of indulging in chocolate.

Sweet treats can lower blood pressure, have bone and muscle benefits and make your blood vessels more elastic — leading to lower risks of strokes and heart attacks, Squires said.

She added that dark chocolate is superior to milk chocolate because it provides flavonols, which offer a boost to your heart. (Those who’ve lost their sweet tooth can also use supplements to get a flavonol fix.)

Maybe this is what Richard Cadbury had in mind when he came up with the first eating chocolates back in the Victorian era. His decision to package them in a heart-shaped box that was decorated with a Cupid and roses made them a hit for love-letter storage, Squires said.

Milton Hershey’s own Valentine chocolate, the Hershey’s Kiss, earned its name in a more straightforward way. Simply put, Squires said, the machine audibly “smooched” out the chocolates.

But all the benefits are moot if you don’t regulate your indulgence. Squires didn’t outline an exact amount, so it’s up to you, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, to feel it out.

“But again, everything in moderation,” Squires said.

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