Does your elderly parent have a sweet tooth? Do they reach for a chocolate bar whenever they get the chance? Well, it’s true that overindulging in sweets can be unhealthy, but it turns out that eating chocolate actually has some health benefits.

Here’s what a box of chocolates could do for your elderly relative this Valentine’s Day.

Elderly Care Federal Way WA - Is Chocolate a Healthy Valentine’s Day Treat?

Elderly Care Federal Way WA – Is Chocolate a Healthy Valentine’s Day Treat?

Lower Cholesterol Levels

Research shows that eating chocolate might help reduce LDL cholesterol levels (the “bad” cholesterol). The scientists determined that eating chocolates containing plant sterols and cocoa flavanols lowered the cholesterol levels of the study participants. They did note, though, that chocolate should be consumed as part of a healthy, low-fat diet.

Dark Chocolate Contains Nutrients

High quality dark chocolate that has a larger cocoa content has a lot of beneficial nutrients in it. When your senior relative eats dark chocolate with between 70 and 85 percent cocoa, they get:

  • Potassium
  • Phosphorous
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Fiber
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Contains Antioxidants

The cocoa in chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which are antioxidants. They protect the body from free radicals that are created through some of the body’s normal processes and enter the body with toxins like cigarette smoke. When there aren’t enough antioxidants in the body to fight the free radicals, the body can suffer damage.

Lower Blood Pressure

Chocolate can help blood flow more easily through the body. It does this through the flavanols it contains, which stimulate artery linings to make Nitric Oxide (NO). NO tells the arteries to relax, which lets blood flow more freely through them, resulting in lower blood pressure.

Reduces Stroke Risk

Some studies have shown that chocolate may protect against stroke. In a Canadian study, researchers studied 44,489 people and discovered that the ones who ate chocolate had a 22 percent lower risk of suffering a stroke. In addition, people who ate chocolate and had a stroke didn’t die as a result of the stroke as often as those who did not eat chocolate.

As a family caregiver, you want the best for your elderly family member. But, the good news is that when you give a senior chocolates for Valentine’s Day, you’re being a good caregiver in more ways than one. Not only will your kind gift brighten their day, but the chocolate may improve their health. Of course, that doesn’t mean that caregivers should shower their elderly loved ones in chocolates. They should still be eaten in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

Sources:  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270272.php

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/16774-heart-healthy-benefits-of-chocolate

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Federal Way WA, contact the caring staff at Hospitality Home Care today. Call us at (206) 966-6552.