Are you feeling guilty about eating a bar of chocolate? Well hold fire. For sure if you over do chocolate consumption it can be harmful but chocolate does have benefits as well, as this page aims to show.
Chocolate contains flavonoids, research as shown that flavonoids may be able to modify viruses, allergens and carcinogens. Additional research shows that flavonoids display anticancer, anti inflammatory and anti allergic activities.
Dr David Lewis of the mind lab conducted research involving several young couples in their 20's.
The volunteers had their brains and heart rate while they consumed chocolate and then kissed. The results showed that the volunteer's heart rate doubled and that chocolate caused a longer and more intense buzz than kissing.
Dr Lewis said: "There is no doubt that chocolate beats kissing hands down when it comes to providing a long-lasting body and brain buzz.
"A buzz that, in many cases, lasted four times as long as the most passionate kiss."
Dark chocolate is one of the foods that lower blood pressure.
Researchers from the University Hospital of Cologne stated that they have now showed benefits can be obtained 30 calories of chocolate.
They conducted a study involving 44 volunteers aged between 56 to 73 with high blood pressure they ate dark chocolate and their blood pressure fell by 3mm.
Researchers noted that the blood pressure fell by a small amount but stated a 3mm reduction in blood pressure could reduce the relative risk of stroke mortality by 8%, of coronary artery disease by 5%, and of all cause mortality by 4%.
Incidentally none of the volunteers that consumed dark chocolate registered any change in lipids or glucose levels, their body weight also remained unchanged.
Dark Chocolate heart study
A study done by researchers in Stockholm at the Karolinska Institute which appeared in the Journal of Internal medicine, found that heart attack survivors who consumed chocolate at least 2 or 3 times weekly were three times less at risk of dying of heart attack compared to survivors who did not consume chocolate.
The study was specific to chocolate no benefits were found to sweets generally.
A study conducted by Professor Ian Macdonald from the Britain's University of Nottingham Medical School found that consuming a cocoa drink containg a good amount of flavanols can increase blood flow to the brain for two to three hours.
Professor Macdonald said:
"The demonstration of an effect of consuming this particular beverage on cerebral blood flow raises the possibility that certain food ingredients may be beneficial in increasing brain blood flow and enhancing brain function, in situations where individuals are cognitively impaired such as fatigue, sleep deprivation, or possibly ageing."
He stated that the level of cocoa flavanol employed in his study is not commercially available. The cocoa-rich flavanol beverage was specifically put together for the purpose of the study.
So that concludes this page on the health benefits of chocolate, next time you eat chocolate you might not feel so guilty.
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