We’re looking forward to Valentine’s Day even more now that we’ve discovered the benefits of eating chocolate. Not just any chocolate, but dark chocolate, in particular, is considered a “superfood” and should be added to a senior diet on a regular basis (so upsetting… we know). If you’d like to find out more about the advantages of dark chocolate for older adults, keep reading! Our nutritionists in Camden County have put together a list of the top 3 benefits here.
Benefit #1: Eating dark chocolate strengthens the heart. A major part of what makes dark chocolate so great for you is the flavonoids it contains. For those who may not know, flavonoids are rich in antioxidants, help ward off everyday toxins, and could decrease the risk of developing chronic health conditions that are all too common for seniors. The flavonoids found in dark chocolate, in particular, are known to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow and circulation to the heart. They also reduce the risk of stroke and developing blood clots because the improved blood flow makes it more difficult for blood platelets to clot.
Benefit #2: Eating dark chocolate increases good cholesterol levels. As we age, it’s important to keep an eye on our cholesterol intake, i.e. consuming more “good” cholesterol and limiting “bad” cholesterol. Fortunately, dark chocolate falls into the good category and can actually raise those healthy cholesterol levels. This is thanks to one very important ingredient: cocoa butter. Cocoa butter contains oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that is good for the heart.
Benefit #3: Eating dark chocolate can boost memory. Another common concern for seniors and their families is dementia. Losing precious memories can be scary and devastating for everyone involved. Fortunately, there are many things we can do as we age to decrease our risks of developing dementia, such as cognitive exercises, getting sound, uninterrupted sleep, and you guessed it – eating dark chocolate. As we mentioned above, flavonoids found in dark chocolate are linked to increased blood flow to not only the heart but the brain too. This is crucial because dementia researchers have proven that having low blood flow to certain parts of the brain is directly linked to dementia.
Health-conscious assisted living in Camden County NJ
Don’t hesitate to add dark chocolate to your meal plan, but remember that moderation is key. It is recommended that the piece of dark chocolate you reach for contains at least 70% cocoa. If you or a loved one need help with moderate nutrition, our associates at Collingswood are available 24/7 to support each resident’s health needs. UMC at Collingswood is proud to promote healthy senior living through nutrition-packed meals, fitness programs, and top-of-the-line health and sanitization protocols in accordance with state guidelines.
To find out more about our healthy lifestyle choices for senior residents in Camden County, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://collingswood.umcommunities.org/
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