A Valentine’s Day Prescription for Better Health

This year, how about giving your special someone the gift of less stress and a smaller waistline? Seem impossible? It’s not! You can do it by giving the most traditional Valentine’s Day gift there is – a box of dark chocolates.

A Valentine’s Day Prescription for Better Health
A Valentine’s Day Prescription for Better Health

This year, how about giving your special someone the gift of less stress and a smaller waistline? Seem impossible? It’s not! You can do it by giving the most traditional Valentine’s Day gift there is – a box of dark chocolates. 

A study in the journal Proteome Research found that eating an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day reduced stress hormones in highly stressed individuals. A second study out of the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Copenhagen found that dark chocolate was much more filling than milk chocolate, leading to reduced cravings for fat and sugar throughout the day.


In addition to these benefits, studies also show that dark chocolate can help to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. How do you get the benefit without going overboard? Moderation is the key. One to two ounces of dark chocolate a day is really all it takes to reduce your risk of chronic disease.

Be sure to purchase dark chocolate with a 70% or greater cocoa content. What greater gift can you give the one you love than a healthier way of life?!

Will you ever feel comfortable in your own skin? That is, if you don't make an effort to protect it? Although 64% of adults do report wearing sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time, it turns out that only about 10% of people surveyed actually protect themselves daily, according to a recent review.

No matter what your skin tone is, unless you live in a cave with no sunlight, daily protection with either sunscreen, sunblock or protective clothing can not only protect you from developing sunburns (ouch!) but can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly the deadliest type called melanoma. In addition, for those of you wanting to keep your youthful looks, daily sunscreen has been shown to reduce the development of wrinkles. A great teacher once told me that the best way to not have wrinkles is not to get them in the first place (think of how much money you can save on useless creams that claim to diminish wrinkles).

Keep Reading Show less