Chocolate isn’t generally thought of as a health food, but seniors and their families may be surprised to learn that dark chocolate, when eaten in moderation, can be a healthy treat for people over 65. The Fort Myers at-home care professionals at Home Care Assistance discuss 4 of the major benefits your senior loved one can gain from eating dark chocolate.
1. Protects the Skin
Developing skin cancer is a big risk for seniors. In addition to wearing sunblock on extra sunny days, your loved one should consider eating dark chocolate as a snack. Dark chocolate contains flavanols, a plant-based substance that, when ingested, can increase blood flow to the skin and help reduce the negative effects of UV rays.
2. Boosts Mood
Dark chocolate can also be good for your loved one’s emotional health because it’s known as a natural mood enhancer. It contains phenylethylamine, a chemical that causes endorphins to be released into the bloodstream, which produces positive feelings and pleasure.
3. Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer’s
Many seniors develop Alzheimer’s each year. However, there may be a link between eating dark chocolate and a lower risk of developing the disease. The flavanols found in dark chocolate increase blood flow to the brain, which can help boost your loved one’s cognitive abilities.
4. Enhances Heart Health
Eating dark chocolate has also been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. The plant-based chemicals in dark chocolate naturally lower the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the blood. Dark chocolate can lower a person’s blood pressure as well.
5. Raises Good Cholesterol Levels
Not all cholesterol is bad. HDL cholesterol actually removes bad cholesterol and can help your loved one’s heart remain healthy. Dark chocolate actually increases HDL cholesterol concentration, which means your loved one can enjoy this sweet treat in moderation.
To learn more about senior nutrition, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to prepare nutritious meals and snacks, take care of grocery shopping, and assist with a variety of other everyday tasks. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care Fort Myers, FL, seniors can count on. For more information on our elder care services, please call 239.449.4701 to speak with one of our knowledgeable Care Managers and schedule a free in-home consultation.