Chocolate is good for the Heart
A Dark Chocolate a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Daily Dark Chocolate is good for the Heart, loaded with Flavonoids
Eating a1.6 oz bar of Dark Chocolate every day is good for you, in fact it is very good for you according to the findings of Mary Engler, Ph.D, RN, of the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Engler’s team divided 21 healthy adults into 2 groups. One group got a Dove Dark Chocolate bar every day for 2 weeks. Like other Dark Chocolate bars with high-cocoa content, this 1 is loaded with something called epicatechin.
Epicatechin is a particularly active member of a group of compounds called plant flavoniods.
Flavoniods keep cholesterol from gathering in blood vessels, reduce the risk of blood clots, and slow down the immune responses that lead to clogged arteries.
Romance and Chocolate
The second group that did not get Dove bars was not totally left out. They got Dark Chocolate bars, but their treats had the flavoniods taken out.
All subjects underwent high-tech evaluation of how well the blood vessels dilate and relax; an indictor of healthy blood vessel function. Blood vessel stiffness indicates diseased vessels and possible atherosclerosis.
Those who got the full-flavonoid chocolate did significantly better. Why? Blood tests showed that high levels of epicatechin were coursing through their arteries.
This was the longest clinical trial to date to show improvement in blood vessel function from consuming flavonoid-rich Dark Chocolate daily over an extended period of time. It is likely that the elevated blood levels of epicatechin triggered the release of active substances that increase blood flow in the artery. Better blood flow is good for your heart.
Dark Chocolate Is Different
Not all Chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate contains a lot more cocoa than other forms of chocolate. And standard Chocolate manufacturing destroys up to half of the flavoniods. But Chocolate companies have now learned to make Dark Chocolate that keeps up to 95% of its flavoniods.
Can you get more and better flavoniods from other foods? No,
Dr. Engler says, “Many people do not realize that Chocolate is plant-derived, as are the fruits and vegetables recommended for a healthy heart.”
While a little Dark Chocolate is good, a lot is not better.
Chocolate is loaded with calories. If you are prone to eat more chocolate, you will have to cut back somewhere else. And remember that a balanced diet and plenty of exercise is still the Key to heart health.
Dr. Engler’s study was funded by the University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing. The American Cocoa Research Institute, a nonprofit group funded by the Chocolate industry, provided the Chocolate used in the study.
Dr. Engler previously reported the findings at the 2002 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association and at the Experimental Biology 2003 meeting.
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Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster’s Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels.
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