Dark chocolate is not only delicious, but it also offers a wealth of health benefits for seniors. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly care in Vancouver, BC, discusses 5 major benefits of dark chocolate for aging adults.
1. Helps Prevent Heart Disease
The compounds in dark chocolate help protect against the oxidation of LDL, the bad type of cholesterol. Over time, this can lower the risk of heart disease. Eating dark chocolate can also help lower blood pressure, and it only takes a few pieces a week to gain the maximum benefits.
2. Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer’s
The flavonols found in dark chocolate have been proven to increase blood flow to the brain, which can help seniors maintain their cognitive abilities. Seniors who have already been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can also benefit. Eating dark chocolate regularly can help increase their brain function for short periods due to the theobromine and caffeine it contains.
3. Boosts Overall Mood
Dark chocolate doesn’t just enhance mood because it tastes good. The various chemical compounds in dark chocolate have been proven to naturally make people feel happier. One chemical in particular, called phenylethylamine, is the same chemical the brain produces when a person falls in love. Phenylethylamine triggers the release of endorphins, which in turn boosts mood.
4. Increases Levels of Good Cholesterol
Dark chocolate doesn’t just help mitigate the effects of bad cholesterol. It can also increase the levels of good cholesterol in the blood. Good cholesterol, more commonly known as HDL, helps keep the heart and arteries healthy.
5. Lowers the Risk of Skin Cancer
Seniors are at a higher risk of skin cancer because skin thins out over time. Eating dark chocolate can help protect against skin cancer because of the flavonols that protect epithelial cells. Flavonols also increase blood flow to the skin and can reduce damage that has already been done by the sun.
To learn more about senior nutrition, reach out to the elder care experts at Vancouver Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can assist with meal prep, grocery shopping, and other everyday tasks, and we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care Vancouver seniors can count on. For more information on our in-home care services, call today to schedule a no-obligation consultation.