Most seniors aren’t going to put up too much a fight if you suggest they eat a little dark chocolate from time to time. However, dark chocolate isn’t just a tasty treat. It also offers a variety of health benefits for people over 65. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of high-quality home care in Caledon, has put together a list of 5 major benefits of dark chocolate for the elderly.
1. Prevents Heart-Related Conditions
Dark chocolate lowers the risk of stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks. When taken in moderation, the threat can be reduced by 33 percent. This is because of one of dark chocolate’s main ingredients: flavonoids. Along with magnesium, potassium, and copper, flavonoids help lower blood pressure, facilitate blood flow, and increase flexibility in arteries and veins.
2. Boosts Cognitive Health
The brain’s cognitive area is the place for recovering, understanding, thinking, and learning about stored information. Eating dark chocolate can help seniors continue to retrieve information from their brains while fighting Alzheimer’s disease. The same flavonoids that prevent heart conditions also boost memory, attention span, and reaction time. The flavanoids increase blood circulation in the brain and can also help prevent additional cognitive disorders like dementia.
3. Reduces Bad Cholesterol
High cholesterol clogs arteries and veins. However, seniors can prevent cardiovascular disease and plaque by eating just a few pieces of dark chocolate every week. Dark chocolate increases good cholesterol (HDL) levels and decreases bad cholesterol (LDL).
4. Protects the Skin
Skin becomes thinner and drier in the senior years, which can increase the chances of skin cancer. However, the flavonoids found in dark chocolate help protect the epithelial cells in skin from damage. Additionally, flavonoids increase blood flow and hydration in the skin. Eating dark chocolate in moderation can boost the body’s skin protection cells.
5. Increases Happiness
Seniors should strive to live happy lives because stress can lead to serious health conditions. Dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which happens to be the same chemical the brain produces when a person falls in love. Phenylethylamine also triggers endorphin release for boosting mood and decreasing depression.
Like most sweet treats, dark chocolate should be consumed in moderation. If your senior loved one needs help maintaining a nutritious diet, reach out to Home Care Assistance. In addition to respite and 24-hour care, we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia home care Caledon, ON, seniors can count on. For more information on our senior care services, please call 905-951-8885 to speak with a friendly Care Manager.