Love dessert but are afraid of the negative health results? Have your cake, and eat it too, with this simple form of sweet, mouth-watering ingredient that can actually aid your heart.
Chocolate is made from cocoa, that has been found to have a positive effect on the human body. One of the main attributes to cocoa is an active ingredient, known as flavanols. Flavanols are a type of antioxidant that helps to regulate blood pressure and in some cases, even lower it.
The Results are In
Before you begin to doubt this crazy claim, look at what a team of researchers from the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Australia, discovered. Their criteria began with the fact that 37% of Western population deaths occur from cardiovascular related illness. Using this information, 856 healthy subjects were chosen to participate in 20 different studies of the blood pressure reducing effects of cocoa products as measured against other types of control. The findings concluded that on a short-term basis, cocoa had a significant effect on lowering blood pressure. More tests are planned for the long-term results.
Keep Chocolate within Reason
This is great news for those that have been shying away from desserts in fear of raising their blood pressure. However, this does not mean that you should run to the store and stock up on chocolate bars by the dozens. Other research has found that only dark chocolate contains the critical antioxidants that are heart healthy. Milk chocolate and white chocolate have proven to have no effect. The recommended dosage is 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate, as opposed to using beta-blockers.
This is wonderful news for those that try and control their diet in order to keep blood vessels relaxed and healthy. Cocoa or dark chocolate can be used in a variety of healthy dessert recipes or enjoyed as an after meal treat. Never feel guilty again about harming your circulatory system by eating dark chocolate. Keep the dosage within reason, and know that you are aiding your heart with this great tasting dessert.