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Chocolate Benefits 2 Articles

By admin | March 28, 2010

Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Has Health Benefits Not Seen in Other Varieties

By Daniel J. DeNoon

WebMD Health News

Aug. 27, 2003 — Got high blood pressure? Try a truffle. Worried about heart disease? Buy a bon-bon.

It’s the best medical news in ages. Studies in two prestigious scientific journals say dark chocolate — but not white chocolate or milk chocolate — is good for you.

Romance and Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure

Dark chocolate — not white chocolate — lowers high blood pressure, say Dirk Taubert, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Cologne, Germany. Their report appears in the Aug. 27 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

But that’s no license to go on a chocolate binge. Eating more dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure — if you’ve reached a certain age and have mild high blood pressure, say the researchers. But you have to balance the extra calories by eating less of other things.

Antioxidants in Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate — but not milk chocolate or dark chocolate eaten with milk — is a potent antioxidant, report Mauro Serafini, PhD, of Italy’s National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research in Rome, and colleagues. Their report appears in the Aug. 28 issue of Nature. Antioxidants gobble up free radicals, destructive molecules that are implicated in heart disease and other ailments.

“Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate … and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate.”

Translation: Say “Dark, please,” when ordering at the chocolate counter. Don’t even think of washing it down with milk. And if health is your excuse for eating chocolate, remember the word “moderate” as you nibble.

The Studies

Taubert’s team signed up six men and seven women aged 55-64. All had just been diagnosed with mild high blood pressure — on average, systolic blood pressure (the top number) of 153 and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) of 84.

Every day for two weeks, they ate a 100-gram candy bar and were asked to balance its 480 calories by not eating other foods similar in nutrients and calories. Half the patients got dark chocolate and half got white chocolate.

Those who ate dark chocolate had a significant drop in blood pressure (by an average of 5 points for systolic and an average of 2 points for diastolic blood pressure). Those who ate white chocolate did not.

In the second study, Serafini’s team signed up seven healthy women and five healthy men aged 25-35. On different days they each ate 100 grams of dark chocolate by itself, 100 grams of dark chocolate with a small glass of whole milk, or 200 grams of milk chocolate.

An hour later, those who ate dark chocolate alone had the most total antioxidants in their blood. And they had higher levels of epicatechin, a particularly healthy compound found in chocolate. The milk chocolate eaters had the lowest epicatechin levels of all.Chocolate for Blood Pressure: Darker Is Better

What is it about dark chocolate? The answer is plant phenols — cocoa phenols, to be exact. These compounds are known to lower blood pressure.

Chocolates made in Europe are generally richer in cocoa phenols than those made in the U.S. So if you’re going to try this at home, remember: Darker is better.

Just remember to balance the calories. A 100-gram serving of Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Bar has 531 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you ate that much raw apple you’d only take in 52 calories. But then, you’d miss out on the delicious blood pressure benefit.

A hint: Don’t replace healthy foods with chocolate. Most people’s diets have plenty of sweets. Switch those for some chocolate if you’re going to try the truffle treatment.

Also, from WebMD Medical News, learn how dark chocolate may help lower blood pressure.

Found on Livestrong.com


Yay for (vegan) chocolate!!

Love this article (who knows how much causation there is, rather than just correlation, but it’s still always fun to read this stuff!!) – just make sure that when you eat chocolate, it’s dairy-, cruelty- and animal product-free! :-)

A study of nearly 50,000 people found that those eating chocolate were 22 per cent less likely to suffer a stroke than those that didn’t.

And those who did suffer a stroke but had indulged in chocolate were 46 per cent less likely to die as a result.

The reason is believed to be that the food is rich in flavanoids, a healthy anti-oxidant, although researchers at the University of Toronto are keen to carry out extra studies.

Sarah Sahib, the study author of the University of Toronto in Canada, said: “More research is needed to determine whether chocolate truly lowers stroke risk, or whether healthier people are simply more likely to eat chocolate than others.”

She worked alongside colleague Dr Gustavo Saposnik and they found that 44,489 people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22 per cent less likely to have a stroke than people who ate no chocolate.

A second study found that 1,169 people who ate 50 grams of chocolate once a week were 46 percent less likely to die following a stroke than people who did not eat chocolate.

The researchers found only one additional relevant study in their search of all the available research. That study found no link between eating chocolate and risk of stroke or death.

However, Dr Saposnik warned: “Eating too much chocolate can make you fat as chocolate also contains saturated fats.

“Further investigation needs to be done. We need to study specific chocolate consumption.”

The findings are due to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7213514/Chocolate-can-help-prevent-stroke.html

http://www.veganwonderful.com/2010/02/yay-for-vegan-chocolate.html

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