Why Chocolate Is Good For You!
A guest post from author Terri Reed
Ahh, love. What would the world be without this emotion that can take our hearts to the highest heights and to the lowest lows? I like to think that we can celebrate love every day of the year, but we’ve set aside a specific day to honor the tender feeling of love. There are so many different ways to express love and romance on this special day, or any day for that matter. Cards—one year my husband and I bought each other the same card. Songs—my husband and I claim the song “Never Surrender” by Cory Hart. Flowers—I love roses and gardenias, especially paired together. And one other way we celebrate is through food. Whether you go out to dinner at a fancy restaurant or you cook a delicious spread at home, these two edible delights are a Valentine staple. But did you know they are more than just delicious treats, they actually have healthy benefits to enrich your Valentine’s Day.
Cocoa, the primary ingredients in finished chocolate, is rich in the antioxidant polyphenols that help reduce the oxidation of LDL or so-called bad cholesterol, a major risk factor in coronary disease. Gotta protect our hearts. Chocolate increases the brain’s level of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical. Serotonin plays a major role in positive mood and emotional health. Increased brain serotonin promoted by chocolate increases sexual excitation, desire and responsiveness. And the chemical phenylethylamine, PEA, which occurs in chocolate, triggers the release of pleasurable, euphoric endorphins. You know, the giddy restless feelings that occur when we are in love.
Strawberries—sweet and succulent fruit, eaten alone or dipped in chocolate, is always a hit. This fruit is high in anti-oxidants, which optimize blood flow and sustain energy. Strawberries are high in zinc, too, which boosts testosterone, known as the personality hormone. It gives us motivation, assertiveness, a sense of power and feeling of well-being and enhanced sex drive.
So now, we can all feel a bit better about our Valentine’s Day food indulgences.
What are some of your favorite Valentine’s Day treats? Share with me in the comments section below!
"WE HAVE YOUR SISTER."
Liz Cantrell is terrified when she receives a call from a man holding her newlywed sister captive—and she's convinced her sketchy brother-in-law's involved. Willing to pay any price for her sister's freedom, Liz flies to Niagara Falls with the ransom: an uncut diamond necklace worth millions. But the moment she lands, a handsome, world-weary Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent takes her into custody. Blake Fallon's determined to catch a ruthless diamond smuggler—and the pretty antiques dealer trying to save her sister could be just the break his case needs. But as they team up to rescue Liz's sister and trap the criminal mastermind, a desperate standoff will threaten everything they hold precious—including their lives.
About the author: At an early age, TERRI REED discovered the wonderful world of fiction and declared she would one day write a book. Now she is fulfilling that dream and enjoys writing for Steeple Hill. She is an active member of both Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her college-sweetheart husband, two wonderful children and an array of critters. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, gardening and playing with her dogs.
You can write to Terri at P.O. Box 19555 Portland, OR 97280; e-mail her at email@example.com or visit her online.
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