Heart Healthy Benefits of Chocolate – How to Choose the Chocolate for Maximum Health

There are a lot of talk lately about chocolate and how it could be a benefit – or harm – to our health. Just how chocolate is good for us, and what should we use?

Cocoa products have been delicacies and sweets of royalty for centuries as food and drink. But only in recent years have been recognized by science that have very healthy. As a lover of chocolate, I was happy to research the subject information and the use made of chocolate a healthy part of my life. Cheers.

What happens in the chocolate, and why does it take? Like many foods, the purest of products, health care, it is for you. The same is true for the chocolate. A chocolate bar has several ingredients:

  1. The cocoa mass, cocoa powder real basis of natural flavor of chocolate.
  2. Cocoa butter, fat that binds the cocoa mass.
  3. Sugar, to sweeten the bitter taste of cacao, and often
  4. Soy lecithin, an emulsifier.

How much is good for you?

Is the mass of chocolate cocoa bean itself, which is a good source of fiber and one of the most powerful antioxidant foods in the world. This means that the darker the better. Most chocolate bars now to say what percentage of cocoa mass and 0% for white chocolate (cocoa butter), 10% – 25% for milk chocolate, 30% for bitter semi-sweet, for 50%, 70% of darkness, and of course 100% pure chocolate. Go for the highest percentage – the lean, dark matter and hard. (A lack of cocoa at all, white chocolate is clearly the poorest choice for those looking to lose weight or improve their health. – That is all sugar and fat) Tablets Many also have chocolate and other ingredients: eggs, milk, honey, artificial flavors, vanilla, spices. peanuts, nuts and even nutritional supplements are for you non-allergic types of nuts love. But beware of other elements found in sweets such as nougat, caramel or candy, especially in large quantities – is more than sugar and fat!

There is one final consideration: how the cocoa bean powder was processed. If possible, choose chocolate that is not treated, or processed without alkali. Why? An alkaline process, also known as the “Dutch process”, destroyed 95% of the benefits of cocoa. Yikes! Therefore, the black chocolate this way is as pure apple juice has been pasteurized – it is always good, but now missing most of their enzymes and vitamins are sensitive to heat. (A Mars bar is like a 1% fruit juice “drink” or soda -. Too bad for those trying to lose weight) organic chocolate is also a place of cocoa beans and sugar grown without chemicals.

How exactly does the chocolate improve our health?

At a time when heart disease is perhaps the leading cause of death in the United States today, it is comforting to discover that the chocolate in the proper format is very good – the heart! How so? First, look where the chocolate comes. chocolate and cocoa powder is a plant product extracted from the cocoa bean. Beans contain large amounts of phytochemicals called flavonoids, compounds found almost exclusively in the plant kingdom. It is estimated that over four thousand of them! These chemicals are found not only in cocoa, but also in fruits, vegetables, tea and wine. Several epidemiological studies have shown that populations consuming a diet rich in flavonoids, including moderate amounts of wine, tea and some fruits and vegetables have lower rates of heart disease and stroke. This is one reason why many eating fresh food is important. specific flavonoids in chocolate that gets the most attention are called procyanidins, which are also present in apples and grapes. Both tea and red wine contains flavonoids called catechins, and they are the ones who can join together to make molecules called procyanidins, which are present in the cocoa bean.

How are the flavonoids in chocolate healthy for our body, especially the heart?

Talk about it in several ways:

1. Superior antioxidant protection.
Oxygen is a reactive element in many chemical compounds, including our bodies. Molecules that behave (or misbehave more!) What are called free radicals, destructive molecules that tend to react with healthy tissue, and decompose. Literally, we Rust, as oxygen can not destroy an iron machine. Free radicals are implicated in heart disease and other ailments such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Antioxidants are chemicals that attract and bind free radicals to stable molecules, rendering them harmless. Cocoa is one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any food. In short, chocolate flavonoids reduce the rate of an aging body, and the maintenance of cholesterol balance. In addition, the antioxidants in cocoa and chocolate may help save other antioxidants like vitamins C and E, allowing them to do more to fight against reactive molecules and the ravages of natural chemical processes.

2. The reduction of inflammation.
A research project has shown that procyanidins, flavonoids found in cocoa beans may lower blood levels of leukotrienes, which are pro-inflammatory chemicals. This has positive effects on the immune system. Moreover, this benefit could help protect the heart, because inflammation of the lining of the arteries is considered part of the process of deterioration that leads to cardiovascular disease.

3. Relaxation of blood vessel walls.
The flavonoids in cocoa and chocolate may protect the heart by increasing concentrations of a chemical called nitric oxide, which relaxes the inner surface of blood vessel walls. This has the effect of increasing dilation of the arteries, improves blood circulation and heart function. This function of cocoa and chocolate may help people with high blood pressure. In fact, one small study found that black chocolate lowers blood pressure in hypertensive patients by twelve points. The researchers also found that the fifteen days following the improved insulin sensitivity of dark chocolate consumption (increased glucose uptake). Nitric oxide bioavailability deeply influences insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, and the flavonoids found in black chocolate and cocoa increased nitric oxide bioavailability. This same study found a reduction in blood pressure among participants who consumed chocolate black.

4. Reducing LDL “bad” cholesterol.
Cholesterol in the arteries are associated with oxidation. Flavonoids, antioxidants found in cocoa and chocolate may protect the heart by inhibiting the oxidation of harmful LDL cholesterol is known as oxidized LDL is much more likely to lead to the formation of plaque in the artery wall. Studies have shown that the amount of flavonoids in chocolate in the blood increases, there is a corresponding decrease in markers related to oxidative damage.

5. Supplies vital minerals.
Chocolate is the highest of all foods with magnesium, a mineral that is very good for the heart, and all the 300 essential biological reactions. Not only the heart, but the nerves, muscles, bones, blood clotting and functions depends on magnesium, and as a bonus, regular adequate intake of magnesium, calcium levels even better than it would be able to take calcium supplements! Thus, the type of chocolate helps prevent arthritis and osteoporosis, too.

6. Reduce the activity of platelet cells in the blood.
Some studies suggest that flavanols after consumption of chocolate, there is a reduction of markers associated with platelet aggregation and adhesion of blood cells, also known as sticky blood or blood clotting. Both platelet aggregation and adhesion are associated with an increased risk of plaque formation on artery walls. With the increase in plaque formation, the greater the risk of heart attack by blocking blood flow to the heart, also known as atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries. Thus, chocolate may act like aspirin to keep arteries open and blood thinner.

From these advantages, it is clear that consumption of chocolate is not so bad after all – provided it is the right type.

Remember to take your chocolate early in the day to avoid caffeine to stop you. Otherwise, have fun. Eating too much … and only one point!