By: Monya De, MD
The world appeared to celebrate the fact that dark chocolate was accepted as a safe and healthy food to have. At last, following permanent “slaps” by forbidden food signs, people can have something that is tasty, pleasurable, has a little caffeine and might help prevent heart attacks.
There are 225 therapeutic research studies that have been done on dark chocolate, most of which have concluded that dark chocolate may be one of the healthiest food options on the planet. Last May, Portuguese scientists published an article revealing that young and healthy individuals benefit from dark chocolate, as it may act as a preventive mechanism in cardiovascular health. They analyzed markers of vein work in healthy volunteers who did and did not eat dark chocolate consistently. Key findings revealed vein health was enhanced with the chocolate. In this and a few other earlier investigations, arteries were more workable and elastic, which effectively assisted blood flow. This is particularly noteworthy, considering that chocolate is controlling the caffeine it contains that is attempting to tighten the arteries. You certainly need elastic arteries, since hardened ones are a hazard for heart attacks.
In an investigation distributed in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Swiss specialists collated stress reactions in individuals who received fake chocolate with the results of individuals who received real dark chocolate. In particular, they checked the stress hormone levels (cortisol) after different distressing exercises, for example doing math before a group of people and a fake job interview.
Chocolate really cut down the stress hormone levels. Stress hormones are the enemies of health (see: Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by famed Stanford biologist Robert Sapolsky) — They increase chances of developing diabetes, gaining weight, and may lead to coronary illness. This outcome: Success.
Here is the main reason why dark chocolate is such a powerful substance:
1. Polyphenolic flavonoids are considered to be powerful antioxidants. Scientists have found that dark chocolate contains high levels of these antioxidants and that these may be to blame for the improvements in mental abilities and health outcomes in people who consistently consume dark chocolate.
Which one should you buy?
When you're at the supermarket faltering over which bar to purchase, recall that most research studies utilize chocolate that is purely dark. Try to purchase chocolate bars that are at least 75% cocoa. It's bitter at first in case you're not accustomed to it, but you will get used to the taste very soon. Likewise, note that you shouldn't give it a chance to sit too long; though the white "sprout" on old chocolate isn't destructive, yet represents a drop in antioxidants.
Furthermore, many studies utilize a chocolate that doesn't contain any of the milk fat found in many chocolate bars. Animal fats and sugar will counterbalance some of the healthy features of chocolate, so try to search for the purest, minimally sweetened chocolate you can endure.
Next time you are craving a chocolate indulgence, go for true dark chocolate to receive the wellbeing rewards and pleasurable taste!
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Monya De, MD MPH practices internal medicine and integrative medicine in the Lost Angeles area. She graduated from Stanford University and the UC - Irvine School of Medicine, with distinctions. She was named the nation's top medical student in the communication of science by the American Medical Association and is a former medical reporter with ABC News. Her interests include health policy, technology, and media. She has been working with pHLabs and writing interesting and engaging articles for well-known health websites.