Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Gifts: Organic Dark Chocolate and Wine

| 1/23/2013 3:35:00 PM

Tags: Valentine's Day, holidays, gifts, organic chocoalte, organic wine, dark chocolate, red wine, antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols, resveratrol,

Did you know that Valentine’s Day has been observed for celebrating romance since the 15th century? Organic dark chocolate and red wine made from organically grown grapes—these are traditional foods of lovers, shared around the world on Valentine’s Day. They are also the foods of healthy hearts, enjoyed throughout the year. At America’s Best Organics, we remind all valentines that when you give organic, you share earth’s goodness with a gift that promotes healthy people and planet.

dark chocolate and red wine
Photo By Kristina Rütten/Fotolia

That’s because a growing body of research shows that antioxidants in food and wine, particularly those compounds known as flavonoids and polyphenols, have heart-healthy, anti-aging and cholesterol-lowering benefits. And organic foods contain significantly more of these heart-healthy compounds than their conventionally produced counterparts. Research has shown that organic fruits and vegetables are 25 percent to 30 percent higher in antioxidants and other key nutrients as compared to conventionally grown fruits and vegetables—and that’s no different for wines made with organic grapes, or dark chocolate made from organic cacao.

In fact, according to a study conducted by a group of Italian researchers and published in the Journal of Wine Research, organic wines tested were found to have significantly higher antioxidant and resveratrol activity, with total polyphenol levels up to 30 percent higher, compared with conventionally produced table wines. Additionally, by drinking wine made with organically grown grapes, you minimize dietary exposure to toxic, synthetic pesticide residues. According to a study published in 2008 by the European Pesticide Action Network, conventionally produced European wines tested were found to contain anywhere from one to 10 pesticide residues while minimal to no pesticides were detected in the organic wines tested.

Antioxidants such as flavonoids in red wine and dark chocolate and resveratrol in red wine have been found to help protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart, and also help to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, according to research published by the Mayo Clinic and the respected medical journal The Lancet. Resveratrol in red wine is of particular interest to researchers in that it may help prevent arteries from becoming clogged with fatty blockages, and may also have other anti-aging and cancer-fighting properties.

Clogged arteries aren’t romantic but the notion of a healthy heart certainly lights a flame. Among chocolates, dark chocolate in particular has the highest level of cancer-fighting and heart-healthy antioxidants including catechins and polyphenols—up to four times the antioxidant levels found in tea, according to The Lancet. That is welcome news!

6/9/2014 8:06:03 AM

I had a very nice surprise at the last Valentine`s day when my husband took me on a trip in Paraguay, he decided to http://premiumwines.com/purchase.php and take it with us because he was not sure about the quality of wine from this country. We stayed there for a week and had a very good time, we even managed to make some friends and promised to visit them again the next year.

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