Nothing Says Love like Resveratrol and Flavonoids

Valentine’s Day is upon us and so are the increased sales of wine, chocolate, and flowers. All of this is OK since wine and chocolate are good for you… right? Well, yes and no. Here are some quick facts to make sure your “sweetie” is getting what she wants and needs:

>> Some chocolate contains flavonoids, a plant pigment that turns into a powerful antioxidant in the body. These then search within the body for free radicals that damage arteries and cells and cause diseases. Flavonoids have also been found to protect the skin from UV damage from the sun.

>> Most chocolate contains less than 50 percent of cocoa. The darker the chocolate, however, the higher chance there is of ingesting the valuable flavonoids.

>> A study at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine showed that those who consumed a few squares of chocolate a day in turn had slower blood clotting time.

>> The cocoa plant, Theobroma cacao, reduces arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, decreases glucose levels in the blood, and increases insulin sensitivity, which helps reduce the risk of diabetes.

>> A study in 2011 found that women who ate more than 45 grams a week of chocolate had a 20 percent lower risk of a stroke.

>> So all chocolate is good for you? Not so fast. Flavonoids are what gives chocolate that bitter taste, and most manufacturers aim to remove that. Once chocolate has been processed, up to 90 percent of the flavonoids are destroyed.

As for wine…

>> Red wine contains antioxidants called polyphenols. A portion of them will become digested and a portion will become food for the good bacteria in your digestive tract.

>> Resveratrol, a type of polyphenol, is quite possibly the key ingredient that prevents damage to the blood vessels, prevents blood clots, and reduces LDL cholesterol according to the Mayo Clinic.

>> Red wine tends to have more benefits than white because the red is fermented with grape skins (the source of all this resveratrol) longer than white wine is.

>> Those who drink red wine in moderation—one drink a day for women and two for men—have shown a lower risk of heart disease.

>> Low doses of resveratrol improve cell survival, but too much resveratrol can actually increase cell death, according to an article published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

What does this mean? If you are looking for a wine to show your affections, stick with red. Have a chocolate-crazed better half? The darker the chocolate, the better. A wise old saying will do the trick for either of these sought out items: Everything in moderation.