wine and chocolate

Chocolate & Wine: The Perfect Match

By Alexandra Dusenberry, MS, RDN
Lead Dietitian

This Valentine’s Day, treat your loved ones with wellness in mind. Chocolate and wine have health benefits that are oh-so-worthy of heart eyes. Call it a match made in heaven aka Cal-a-Vie. Keep reading to learn why chocolate and wine deserve some love.

A healthy life is all about balance. That means you can have your favorite treats, like chocolate, from time to time. If it’s a treat we consume often, we can maximize the benefits by enjoying chocolate with a nutritious twist. Not all chocolate is created equal, so it is important look for dark chocolate that is 70% or above. This means it will be lower in sugar and higher in heart-loving antioxidants than milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is also a great source of magnesium, an essential mineral that plays a role in upwards of 600 metabolic and chemical processes in the body. Magnesium is important for bone health, muscle and nerve function, and energy production.

To upgrade your chocolate experience even more, look for superfood chocolate. Hemp Love is a favorite of ours; it is an organic, vegan chocolate that contains hemp seeds, which are full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, both of which are essential for inflammation regulation and cognitive health. In particular, omega-3 fatty acids are found in significant concentrations in brain membranes, and deficiencies in these fatty acids have been linked to behavioral changes like depression and anxiety. You can support a healthy, happy mind with hemp seeds!

Let’s not stop there. Have you heard about functional mushrooms? They have been used for centuries due to their impressive health benefits. Functional mushrooms are different than culinary mushrooms, and don’t worry--they don’t have psychoactive effects. What makes them special? They contain substantial amounts of antioxidants, good-for-the gut fiber, and adaptogenic properties that can help us focus, have sustained energy through the day, and be resilient against daily stressors. Chocolate provides the most delectable way to enjoy the benefits of functional mushrooms, but with no mushroom taste. A great functional mushroom to try is Reishi, which is known to help reduce stress, provide a sense of calm, support restful sleep, and boost the immune system. One square of Defend FX Reishi Chocolate an hour before bed is your ticket to sweet dreams.

What’s the word on wine? When consumed in moderation, (no more than one 5-ounce glass for women, and two for men per day), wine boasts some antioxidant and heart-health benefits. In particular, red wine contains resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that may lower inflammation and protect blood vessels and arteries from damage. Research from the Blue Zones, (places around the world where people are living significantly longer than their counterparts around them), shows that moderate alcohol consumption can be a component of a vibrant, healthy lifestyle when paired with nutritious food and time shared with family, friends, and loved ones. Cheers to your health! 

Pssst, if you want the benefits of resveratrol sans alcohol, you can reap the benefits from eating red grapes; the skin of the grapes is where most of the antioxidants are found. 

When you enjoy your chocolate and red wine this Valentine's Day, remember to savor and enjoy it with your loved ones.

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