This is my own declaration. There is actually a Chocolate Week in the UK in October. But, I think that the week prior to Valentine's Day is more appropriate. This way, we can all get our chocolate fixes out of the way with some healthier options and be able to throw away the box of stale processed chocolates that our Valentines give us (mine does not-- smart man).
It's also kind of a coincidence that this is American Heart Month. Cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer of Americans. A healthy diet and exercise is the best way to prevent heart disease!
Chocolate can be part of that healthy diet! From the cacao plant, cocoa is high in flavanols, a type of flavonoid phytochemical that acts as an antioxidant can help to decrease inflammation and therefore protect your heart.
Unlimited chocolate is not recommended. I like these rules from WebMD:
1. The more nonfat cocoa solids a chocolate product contains, the more antioxidants it tends to contribute.
2. If the chocolate contains fat ingredients other than cocoa butter, it might contain the more harmful saturated fats and trans fats.
Chocolate consumption WILL NOT HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Count them if that is your goal.
Let's have some fun with chocolate this week! Enjoy!