Dark Chocolate For A More Healthy Heart

Dark Chocolate For A More Healthy Heart

Dark Chocolate can be a part of your healthy heart diet. This is rather a bold statement but there is a growing body of evidence that chocolate can be beneficial for our bodies.

Some trials have suggested that chocolate can prevent platelets in the blood clotting too readily with the possibility of causing heart attacks. It may help lower blood pressure and prevent the build-up of plaque in our blood vessels.

One test has even indicated that chocolate might help us think better as it increases the blood flow to the brain.

Why is dark chocolate good for us?

The answer to this question is that chocolate contains antioxidants that, for want of a better description, help clean up our systems. It contains antioxidants in the form of flavonoids that are the means some plants use to counter the effects of environmental poisons and repair damaged cells.

By eating some of these flavanoids even in the form of chocolate, we humans can also have these benefits as they will help us get rid of free radicals. Suffice to say that free radicals are harmful to us and antioxidants link to them and thereby help prevent their harmful effects.

How much should we eat?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question at the moment. Some evidence suggests that it should only be about an ounce once or twice a week. On the other hand, there is also the suggestion that one and a half ounces a day is most effective.

My preference is obviously the latter because I love the stuff. That said, most people will agree that anything taken in moderation should not do us too much harm.

This means that feeding our faces with so much chocolate that we become overweight is a definite no-no.

What sort of chocolate should we eat?

The trials that have been done are trending towards recommending quite a high proportion of cocoa solids in what we consume. One suggestion is that about 76% is optimum as above that level the body just voids it and below that amount, it is not quite so good for us.

We certainly do not want to be eating a lot of low concentration, high in fats offerings. This indicates that less processed dark chocolate is better for us as it is the processing that removes the beneficial flavonoids.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Dr. Murray Mittleman who when study leader and director of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston said:-

“You can’t ignore that chocolate is a relatively calorie-dense food and large amounts of habitual consumption is going to raise your risks for weight gain. But if you’re going to have a treat, dark chocolate is probably a good choice, as long as it’s in moderation.”

 

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