Wanna be healthy? Eat more dark chocolate

healthy dark chocolate sleeper

I love movies with healthy dark chocolate.

Probably one of the most popular Woody Allen movies is Sleeper. It really is a classic sci-fi movie in which a health food store owner passes away and his family cryogenically freezes his body in suspended animation. Down the road 200 years, when they find a cure for his illness, they defrost him, and bring him back to life. Surprisingly, this movie from the early 70’s has got a little something good to suggest regarding your health. How is that possible?

Straight away the health nut finds out after being resucitated is that while he was asleep, medical scientists had made an important breakthrough. Rather than chocolate cake being bad for you, as Woody, playing a health nut, had always thought, they found out that chocolate is the healthiest food you can eat.

Wake him up! Science says dark chocolate is healthy

Now, a team of British research workers say that it is at this moment time to wake Woody up. They reported in the British Medical Journal ( Buitrago-Lopez A, Sanderson J, Johnson L, et al. Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ August 29, 2011.) that the more chocolate you eat, the healthier you are likely to be.

Nearly contradicting themselves, the authors of the scientific study had this to state about their discoveries, “Although overconsumption can have harmful effects, the existing studies generally agree on a potential beneficial association of chocolate consumption with a lower risk of cardiometabolic disorders. Our findings confirm this, and we found that higher levels of chocolate consumption might be associated with a one-third reduction in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.”

Listed below are the fascinating dark chocolate points.

  • The study was a meta-analysis of seven already published dark chocolate studies.
  • None of these studies differentiated between dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate.
  • They counted any form of chocolate. This included chocolate bars, chocolate drinks, and chocolate snacks, desserts, nutritional supplements, and, of course, chocolate cake.
  • The amount of chocolate the participants ate ranged between none to more than once a day.

In five of the seven studies, there was a significantly steady finding. The more chocolate a person ate, the more unlikely he was to get cardiovascular disease, strokes, and even diabetic issues. On the whole, when they grouped the various data from all of the scientific studies, people who ate the most chocolate ended up 37% less likely to have any coronary disease and 29% less likely to have a stroke as compared to those who ate the least.

Why is chocolate so beneficial for you?

The authors reasoned that it must be due to specific plant nutrients identified in high amounts in chocolate known as polyphenols. Polyphenols increase the body’s production of nitric oxide. And nitric oxide boosts circulation in the small blood vessels and capillaries, prevents platelets from sticking together and forming dangerous clots, stops LDL cholesterol from oxidizing, brings down blood pressure, lowers insulin resistance, and reduces blood fats. All generally thought of as beneficial.

Is it feasible to consume too much chocolate? No, an abundance of cocoa is not going to hurt you, but having too much sugar sure can. However, you can eat chocolate without guilt. While this research suggested any kind of chocolate can help, the best is dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the greater the amount of polyphenols. In fact, we know that polyphenols are damaged by high heat and alkalinization (dutching). So, eating chocolate that has been cold pressed and not dutched seems best. Woody would be proud! Eating more chocolate to be healthy.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

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