How Dark Chocolate can Help with Aging

Aging is a natural process. However, we all want to keep diseases and illness at bay. We all want to live our lives to the end, strong and healthy!

“Life by chocolate, or death by chocolate? There is an increasing outflow of pro dark chocolate PR, and much of the excitement centers around antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, which have the  ability to temper free radicals, and thereby help lower the risk of heart disease, some cancers and other age-related maladies. More and more people are bombarding their diets with the antioxidant fountain of youth.”

“Enter chocolate, stage left. It derives from the beans of the cacao tree, is brimming with antioxidants, in much higher concentrations than other produce. This could be because chocolate is highly concentrated, undiluted by the water that makes fruits and vegetables so juicy.”

Read more about aging and chocolate in this free book…

Oxidation

What is oxidation?All body cells use oxygen to make energy and to function. Oxidation occurs every time oxygen is burned as a food for energy. The oxygen mixes with different compounds (proteins, fat, etc.) or molecules to form highly unstable and highly reactive molecules called free radicals.

The body likes all of its molecules/atoms to have even numbers of electrons. When the oxygen mixes with the molecule it gains an extra electron, making it an unstable free radical with an uneven number of electrons. It is important to remember that environmental factors like smoking, radiation, pollution, hypertension, a high-fat diet, and elevated blood sugars can also oxide the body cells to form free radicals.

Free radicals

The main types of free radicals are called super oxide, hydroxyl, singlet oxygen, peroxyl, and hydrogen peroxide molecules. They are even formed during infections (oxidation is necessary for health because oxidation is needed to kill microorganisms) or chronic inflammation when free radicals are formed to fight the infection and over produce themselves. Even strenuous exercise will increase the production of free radicals.

These free radicals like to hook to other cells to steal electrons and cause a major chain reaction as each cell tries to steal electrons.These unstable molecules commonly damage the cell membranes (by attaching to unsaturated fatty acids), weaken blood vessel walls, affect immune cells, modify protective enzymes, and hinder how the cell functions. They cause a lot of inflammation and even scar tissue from their damage.

The free radicals can also damage cell proteins and even alter DNA within the cell. It has been estimated that the human body generates 1-3 billion free radicals a day! It is thought that the DNA in each of our trillion-plus cells is bombarded by 10,000 free radicals a day. No wonder there is evidence that more than 200 diseases are caused by free-radical damage.

Blindness, arthritis, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes,arthritis, dementia and even physical aging can result from free-radical damage.

Dark chocolate turns out to be a good source of antioxidants—those beloved chemicals known for their cell-protecting properties. Studies suggest that dark chocolate may be one of the most functional foods out there, even a great brain saver!

In order to understand how we can limit the damage from chronic illnesses and aging, we need to understand how some of the chronic illnesses develop.

 

 

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