Chocolates and Champagne can be good for your heart – expert reveals good news for Valentine’s Day
There’s some surprisingly good news for everyone planning a romantic Valentine’s Day treat. Chocolate and Champagne are not necessarily bad for you. In fact, the treats you just bought your heart’s desire may also be just what their hearts need to stay healthy.
Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: ‘‘The good news for Valentine’s Day is that chocolates and fizz, in moderation, might improve our heart health.
‘Eating chocolate at least once a week is linked to an 8% reduced risk of heart disease, according to research published in the “European Journal of Preventive Cardiology”. Dark chocolate made from cocoa beans contains natural, beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols. These have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, while also producing nitrous oxide in the blood, helping relax blood vessels and so reduce blood pressure. It also found that chocolate contains heart healthy nutrients that may reduce inflammation and improve the amount of good cholesterols in the body.
‘So chocolates may actually be good for our hearts in some ways, which is very appropriate for Valentine’s Day. But what about Champagne?
Can a bottle of bubbly also be good for our heart health?
‘Research from the University of Reading, published in the “British Journal of Nutrition”, suggests that two glasses of Champagne a day may be good for your heart and circulation. The researchers found that drinking Champagne daily in moderate amounts causes improvements in the way blood vessels function.
‘Again, this is down to our old friends, polyphenols. These plant chemicals are also found in the red grapes and white grapes used in Champagne production. When we drink Champagne, these polyphenols are absorbed into the circulation where they are able to act on the vascular system.
‘Of course, there’s always a catch. Food items with high sugar and fat content are the leading cause of obesity. Similarly, the key word when talking about the consumption of Champagne, or any other alcohol, is “moderation”. Long-term heavy drinking can lead to heart disease, liver disease and increased cancer risk.
‘This Valentine’s Day, it might be a good idea to show yourself some love. A heart health profile blood test will tell you how well your heart is functioning. London Medical Laboratory’s simple, finger-prick blood test indicates risks to heart health and can be taken at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 120 selected pharmacies and health stores.
For full details see: https://www.londonmedicallaboratory.com/product/heart-health-profile