Health Benefits Behind Red Wine & Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

I thought it would be fun to share my go-to dark chocolate and red wine favorites that help my heart, feed my brain and make me a happy girl. 

There are many connections between what we eat and how it can affect our overall health. Research has revealed that both red wine and dark chocolate carry various components that make it beneficial to our heart and our body, so it makes me wonder why so many people shy away from these delicious treats? Maybe it is because we have been wired to think of them as guilty pleasures, but it’s quite the contrary. Did you know that one of the components found, polyphenols, has the ability to widen the blood vessels, which ultimately speeds the supply of blood to the brain, this increases oxygen and sugars in the brain and the end result is that it aids us in making decisions and completing complex calculations much easier and quicker.  So in short, the polyphenols in red wine and dark chocolate make them brain food and could have a great affect on your memory and mind. In addition, polyphenols play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancers.

Antioxidants are abundant in fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats and fish, but did you know that there is an antioxidant called flavonoid in red wine and dark chocolate? These particular antioxidants help us by reducing bad cholesterol, boosting good cholesterol, and reducing blood clotting. So I must ask, why would anyone say no to these two guilty pleasures after knowing how much our precious heart, body and mind can be affected, in the best kind of way, by incorporating them into our daily lives?!

Now to the fun stuff…

I will share with you some of my favorite dark chocolates that put me in a dark and very welcomed sweets coma (I should say that the dark chocolate I’m writing about is not processed dark chocolate M&M’s, I am referring to pure chocolate that contains 70% or more of cocoa, so that way you can benefit from all of its antioxidants)

Lindt Maitres Chocolatiers – Dark Cherry and Chili Chocolate 70% Cacao

Jacques Torres Chocolate – Jacques’Bean to Bar 70% Cacao

Ghirardelli Chocolate – Intense Dark Twilight Delight 72% Cacao

My favorite red wines…

2009 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2010 Block Nine Pinot Noir

2008 Cambria Syrah

Keep in mind that anything in excess can have harmful side effects, so make sure to eat and drink in moderation.  If you know of any medical conditions you may have, that could possibly be exacerbated with red wine or dark chocolate, please check with your doctor before attempting to incorporate them in your daily lives. Lastly, enjoy!