Good for the Heart and Soul
According to CNN, an estimated 58 million pounds of chocolate are sold in the United States during the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re giving the chocolate to a loved one or lucky enough to receive the chocolate. This research may allow both parties to enjoy the chocolate-filled holiday, guilt-free. Remember, it’s good for the heart and soul.
Back in 2011, the British Medical Journal first published a meta-analysis of seven studies indicating that chocolate consumption was linked to a 39 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29 percent reduction in stroke. Another study showed that participants in their non-chocolate eating group had higher average weight compared to the chocolate eaters.
What About Chocolate is Beneficial?
Studies found that dark chocolate is better for heart health. So not just any type of chocolate will cut it! Scientists are working to determine what it is about chocolate that boosts heart health.
Flavonoids are a powerful antioxidant in fruits and vegetables.
Unfortunately, most companies do not list the flavonoid content of their chocolate on their packaging, so it is difficult to discern which brands or types of chocolate may offer the most benefits. Select dark chocolate that is high quality. Of course, the darker the chocolate the better, but any 70 percent dark chocolate or higher contains antioxidants, fiber, potassium, calcium, copper, and magnesium, according to a study published in the journal Antioxidants & Redox Signaling.
Perks of a Chocolate Diet
Furthermore, other studies show that dark chocolate can help in:
- Making platelets in the blood less sticky and able to create clots, which can cause a heart attack or stroke
- Processing nitric oxide, which helps improve blood flow throughout the body, including the brain
- Lowering the risk of insulin resistance, which reduces the risk of diabetes
- Controlling chronic inflammation, which can lead to heart disease.
So whether it’s Valentine’s Day or anytime you crave chocolate, choose dark chocolate. You can relax and enjoy it, knowing that your body, heart, and soul will thank you for it later.
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