Indulge in Your Health

Research shows red wine and dark chocolate, some of our favorite Valentine’s Day indulgences, have health benefits.

There’s nothing better when it’s cold outside than settling down after a long day with a good book and a glass of wine—unless it’s a good book and a couple pieces of dark chocolate. Indulging your taste buds with these treats could also help you reap health benefits.

Many studies have shown that light to moderate red wine consumption can help protect your heart against cardiovascular disease. Researchers theorize these protective effects come from compounds in the wine raising your “good,” or HDL, cholesterol and boosting artery health, reducing your risk of forming blood clots. It’s also been suggested that red wine may help protect against clinical depression.

Another popular Valentine's Day treat, chocolate, has protective properties that come from the flavonols in cocoa. Dark chocolate with high cocoa concentration (and less added sugar) provides more of a health boost. The antioxidants contained in natural cocoa have been suggested to protect against everything from heart attack to stroke to cancer. Keep in mind, however, that even high concentrations of dark chocolate contain sugar, and eat it mindfully.

It's important to remember that the health benefits of both red wine and chocolate only apply when consumption is moderate. In small doses, these indulgences can give your health a pleasant boost.

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Looking for an indulgent beverage to keep you warm and relaxed in the winter? This adults-only drink combines two favorites—red wine and dark chocolate. 

(Serves 2)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup red wine of your choice

3 teaspoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder

4 teaspoons sugar

pinch of salt

1 cup milk

Instructions:

Bring wine to simmer over low heat. 

Combine cocoa powder with sugar and salt in a bowl, then add two to three tablespoons of milk. Stir well.

Add the remaining milk, then slowly pour it into the simmering wine. Bring to a boil, occasionally whisking.

Serve in mugs with garnish of your choice. Cinnamon goes well with these flavors, or stick to the classic marshmallows!

Nutrition Info:

Calories: 118

Total fat: 2.4g

Carbohydrates: 14.9g

Cholesterol: 10mg

Saturated fat: 1.6g

Sodium: 129mg

Sugar: 14.8 g

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