Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and substances called flavonoids, according to The-Lasik-Directory.com. Flavonoids lower your LDL, or bad cholesterol, and protect the blood vessels in your body — including your eyes. Other dark foods, such as bilberries, blueberries, dark cherries and blackberries, also contain antioxidants and flavonoids. Research suggests that the flavonoids in these dark berries might slow down macular degeneration and cataracts, as noted by the Macular Degeneration Association. These berries also contain vitamin C, which helps protect the eye from age-related degeneration, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State.- Living Strong


(CNN) — Are you thinking of something sweet for your valentine this Valentine’s Day? Perhaps a box of chocolates? The rich indulgence could be a great way to show some love to your heart as well. Not only is chocolate a sweet way of showing some love, but there are other benefits.

“Chocolate’s more than just a matter of the heart for what we give to people that we love,” said registered dietitian Tamara Melton. “Chocolate has nutrients in it that can help us to protect our heart. They’re called flavonols and they help to increase the blood flow to your heart. It also helps your body to reduce the amount of plaque that will stick on your arterial walls, so it’s not gonna lead to clots that’ll eventually lead to a heart attack and then a stroke.”

But not all chocolate is heart healthy. “If you’re looking for the healthier versions of chocolate, look for the term ‘dark chocolate’,” said Melton. “That’s going to be on the label, and then look for a higher percentage.”

Other benefits of cocoa powder, the main ingredient of dark chocolate, may include raising good cholesterol levels, the high density lipids or HDL, while lowering bad cholesterol levels, the low density lipids or LDL.

Dark chocolate with at least 70-percent cacao contains fiber and is high in antioxidants.

Read more: http://wtnh.com/2015/02/11/chocolates-health-benefits/
Source: CNN