New Study Finds Effects of Chocolate Benefit Cardiovascular Health
A new study found that chocolate eaters reduced their blood pressure and showed a small improvement in “flow-mediated dilation” – a measure of how well the blood vessels respond in increased blood flow.
The findings, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, are far from the first to tie chocolate to heart health. The study found that the effects of chocolate, cocoa, and flavan-3-ols had positive effects on cardiovascular disease. Flavan-3-ols (most often referred to as flavanols) are known for their antioxidant abilities that play a putative role in inhibiting cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The study which combined the results of 42 small clinical trials and comprised 1297 participants found that people fed chocolate or cocoa for a few weeks to months showed a small decrease in their blood pressure and an improved blood vessel function.
Numerous studies have connected lower risks of high blood pressure and other health risks to those who consumed dark chocolate.
Nutritionists usually recommend less than one ounce of dark chocolate a day or a tiny square for heart health. Also, the chocolate should be at least 70 percent cocoa with little sugar.
However, even though the study found consistent acute and chronic benefits of consuming chocolate or cocoa, it is wise to remember, overindulging any such food can create other health risks including obesity. Moderation is the key – indulge in your favorite dark chocolate in moderation.
If you’re one of those that wish to enjoy the healthful properties of chocolate without the calories or added sugar try Dagoba organic premium drinking chocolate. The ‘authentic’ cocoa powder has dark chocolate bits and cane sugar to deliver a rich chocolate experience.