Is Dark Chocolate Good for Your Heart? A Look at the Evidence

Is dark chocolate good for your heart? A growing number of evidencesIs dark chocolate good for your heart are proving that eating dark chocolate daily does not have good effect not only on your heart, but on your overall health as well.

Is dark chocolate good for your heart?

Evidences are now building up that products from the cacao plant are good for the heart, especially dark chocolate. Studies have shown that people who consume dark chocolate have healthier cardiovascular systems with better blood circulation and lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Experts are now recommending to include chocolate in your strategy to keeping the world’s top killer disease at bay. Dark chocolate should be included in a life plan that includes eating healthy foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, reducing stress and maintaining weight. Read on as we explore the science behind the question: Is dark chocolate good for the heart?

Powers Heart and Blood Vessel Cells

Theobroma cacao seeds, which is the source of dark chocolate, are rich in active compounds known as antioxidants. Dark chocolate is one of the 10 top dietary sources of antioxidants, along with seasonings like anise, cloves, and mint, and berries like black elderberry and black choke berry. Dark chocolate is also teeming with bio-active flavanols and theobromine. These benefit the cells of the heart and blood vessels. But if your watching your fat intake, an ounce of dark chocolate, although low in cholesterol has about 9 grams of fat. Generally, the health benefits of eating dark chocolate daily outweigh the risk of added calories. Consume 70 to 80 pure dark chocolate as it has low calories.

Increases Blood Circulation

Another research has proven the antioxidant benefits of dark chocolate. It showed that eating dark chocolate helped people with peripheral artery disease walk farther and longer. Peripheral artery disease decreases blood flow the legs and arms, so patients mostly have painful cramping and exercise difficulties, even when walking. In the study, people with this disease who ate 40 grams of dark chocolate a day were able to walk 11 percent father and 15 percent longer than people who ate the same amount of milk chocolate. Researchers looked into oxidative stress markers in the blood and found improvement among those who ate dark chocolate.

Calms Blood Pressure

Eating dark chocolate is linked to lowering blood pressure significantly. An extensive analysis of 20 trials showed a considerable drop in blood pressure. One 18-week trial looked into people who ate about 6 grams of dark chocolate every day. Researchers compared them with those who ate the same amount of white chocolate, and dark chocolate came out the clear winner. Systolic blood pressure of those people who ate dark chocolate went down by three points, while diastolic blood pressure went down by two. If you are tracking yours, remember that the normal blood pressure to aim for should be less than 120/80.

Decreases Stroke Risk

New data shows that eating chocolate gives a lower risk for stroke. Stroke is a huge major health concern for many, especially for people with atrial fibrillation, whose smoke risk is five times that of people who do not have it. If a blood vessel bursts or a clot forms in the brain, the result is stroke, which is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Dark chocolate helps decrease blood pressure had might have a role in coronary artery disease stability and diabetes, so dark chocolate can help lower stroke risk. However, do not make this your replacement for your prescription anticoagulant and blood thinner, as these are the only treatments proven to prevent stroke.

Meets Cholesterol Goals

If you are struggling to control your cholesterol levels, studies on chocolate and blood cholesterol levels are heartening. One trial showed that people with high blood pressure are made to eat 100 grams of either dark chocolate or white chocolate. Those who had the dark chocolate saw an average 12 percent drop in their LDL or bad cholesterol, which is linked to increased risks of heart disease. In another trial, people who consumed dark chocolate had a significant increase in HDL or good cholesterol. Research credit these healthy chances to theobromine, which is a compound found abundantly in cacao.

Relieves Stress on the Heart

One risk factor of heart disease that mostly overlooked is stress. And it is good to know that the solace given by dark chocolate is not only limited to its good taste. A study found that eating dark chocolate helped people cope with stressful situations. Researchers measured the stress hormones of people then challenged them to do things like solving a math problem in their heads. Those who ate dark chocolate had lower levels of stress hormones circulating in their blood following the stress test. The subjects also reported to having felt less stress. Experts note that dark chocolate can favorably impact some of the risk factors of atrial fibrillation, like body inflammation, atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and stress response.

So is dark chocolate good for the heart? It sure is. Also know that aside from your heart, the reported benefits of chocolate also affect the different parts of your body, making for an overall healthy you. You just have to make sure that you eat the healthy kind of chocolate in the right amount. Talk to your doctor for more information about dark chocolate and how much dark chocolate is healthy.

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