A rich, sensory combination, chocolate and red wine are an iconic pairing for everything from celebrations to simply "me-time." However, do these two treats offer health benefits beyond their relaxing properties?
“I certainly do not discourage light-to-moderate consumption of wine and chocolate,” said Dr. Andrew Najovits, cardiologist at Metropolitan Cardiology, part of Bon Secours Medical Group, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth). “Research has demonstrated the cardiovascular benefits of alcohol when used lightly or in moderation: Typically, up to one drink per day for women and one to two drinks per day for men.”
It’s inconclusive whether all types of alcohol, or just wine, confer these benefits.
Enjoying a serving of chocolate has a similar effect, lowering rates of coronary artery disease and stroke.
“Both red wine and chocolate have nutrients called flavonoids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” said Najovits. “Dark chocolate and certain types of cocoa powder likely provide more benefit because they contain more flavonoids.”
He advises checking with your doctor before regular consumption of chocolate or wine to weigh risks and benefits, factoring in the adverse effects of alcohol on certain heart conditions.