Posted By: Steve [Send E-Mail]
Date: Saturday, 21-Jan-2012 13:50:35
Chocolate and cocoa derive their health benefits from flavonoids which are plant pigments capable of acting as antioxidants to counteract some of the cellular damage that can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Cocoa powder has also been shown to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow in humans. A cup of cocoa has almost three times the antioxidants of a cup of green tea, another drink renowned for its health benefits. With all of the antioxidant capabilities of cocoa it may seem like a no-brainer to add dark chocolate and cocoa to your diet. While cocoa is still recommended by most experts when consumed in reasonable quantities, the health benefits of cocoa should be balanced by its potential drawbacks.
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Study: Dark Chocolate Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure, It also helps lower risk of diabetes, heart disease
A new Harvard study finds that eating a small square of dark chocolate daily can help lower blood pressure for people with hypertension.
The study joins the growing research into the heart-healthy benefits of flavonoids, compounds in unsweetened chocolate that cause dilation of the blood vessels. The Harvard study was announced today in Atlanta at the American Heart Association’s science session on cardiovascular disease.
The study analyzed 24 chocolate studies involving 1,106 people. It found that dark chocolate, the kind that contains at least 50 to 70 percent cocoa, lowered blood pressure in all participants, but most notably in those with hypertension. Eric Ding of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a coauthor of the study, says researchers also found that chocolate increased insulin sensitivity, good for lowering diabetes risk.