Dark chocolate may be a luxurious and indulgent treat. However, studies have shown it offers several health benefits to seniors. While many seniors don’t need a reason to eat dark chocolate, Palm Beach, FL, home caregivers discuss a few of the health benefits of eating this treat a few times a week.
1. Enhances Brain Function
Research has shown dark chocolate has high levels of flavanols, which can increase blood flow to the brain and help preserve cognitive ability. It can also benefit seniors who have already been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The theobromine and caffeine in dark chocolate can aid in enhancing brain function for a limited time.
2. Lowers Heart Risk
Dark chocolate contains specific compounds that can help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in a person’s blood, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. Eating some dark chocolate a few times a week aids in lowering blood pressure, which can decrease the risk of heart disease.
3. Raises HDL Levels
Dark chocolate can also raise HDL levels in a person’s blood. HDL cholesterol is considered good cholesterol, and it can aid in keeping a senior’s heart and arteries healthy as well.
4. Protects Skin
Dark chocolate helps protect the skin because it contains flavanols, which protect the epithelial cells. Additionally, flavanols can help increase blood flow to a senior’s skin and enhance skin hydration. Eating dark chocolate can also help heal past UV damage. The antioxidants found in dark chocolate are also reputed to increase the body’s natural ability to protect the skin.
5. Boosts Mood
Dark chocolate contains the chemical phenylethylamine, which can have positive effects on mood. Phenylethylamine is produced by the brain when a person falls in love, and it release endorphins that can enhance your loved one’s mood.
Including dark chocolate in your loved one’s diet a few times every week can help him or her reap its benefits. Consider hiring a professional caregiver who can encourage your loved one to make healthier dietary choices. Reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home elder care Palm Beach, FL, families can trust. Our hourly and live-in caregivers can help your loved one maintain a healthy diet and also assist with housekeeping, grooming, and other daily tasks. Call 561.429.8292 to speak with a friendly Care Manager and learn more about our flexible care programs.