Chocolate - Scientifically Proven Healthy Benefits - In Pictures

Chocolate - Key Component - Flavonoids.

The number one question. Is chocolate really good for you? It can be! A report by the Free Radical Biology and Medicine, and the San Diego State University said that people who ate dark chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa solids had improved cholesterol levels, lower blood glucose levels, and lower levels of LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) compared to subjects who ate white or other chocolate with zero percent cocoa solids.

Researchers at Harvard University in the U.S. studied the effects of eating chocolate said; "it protects against heart disease, and those who ate it regularly lived almost a year longer than those who didn't eat any". They concluded that this is likely to be due to the fact that cocoa contains antioxidants called polyphenols, also found in red wine which prevent the oxidation of harmful cholesterol.
Antioxidants are also known to protect against cancer. Chocolate can also improve cognitive function says A University Of Maine study.

A recent documentary, Super-foods, scientifically studied the effects of eating dark chocolate and other cocoa products high in cocoa solids containing compounds called Flavanoids. 

 Studies showed they can make Platelets less sticky and less likely to cause clots, a stroke, and a heart attack.

Platelets are a component of blood which functions to stop bleeding by clumping and clotting blood vessel injuries.
Flavonoids are a diverse group of plant chemicals associated with many health benefits.

 How Flavonoids Work To Protect The Heart 
When PLATELETS in the blood find a damage vein or artery...

 they change shape...

 then stick together, plug the hole and stop blood loss.

But in some cases they can change shape at the wrong time and form CLOTS which can cause a heart attack or stroke.

The compounds called FLAVONOLS make Platelets less sticky and less likely to cause clots. 

At Aberdeen University, blood tests was performed on two individuals to compare how quickly the platelets stick together.
Blood samples were taken before and after eating the chocolate.
The results showed a significant 20% less sticky Platelets in those who ate the chocolate high in Flavanoids.

Final Round Up
  • Depending on an individuals 'Genotype' (the genetic make-up of a cell/organism or individual), and their body weight, whether they're male or female, background diet, lifestyle as well as other factors will all determine if an individual who ate chocolates high in Flavanoids will have the most effective results. 
  • A number of flavonoids in each chocolate bar can be significantly different depending on many factors including the different types of cocoa beans and the way they've been processed will affect the final flavonoids content.
  • Dark chocolate does not always mean high in flavonoids. Always read the label and look for chocolates with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids.
  • Keep your Flavonoids intake topped up with quality cocoa products, black and green teas, fruits, vegetables and yes, red wine, but. like certain types of Tomatoes, the flavonoids content can vary significantly.
  • Chocolates contain 'Theobromine', formerly known as xantheose. It's a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant. The darker the chocolate the less Theobromine it contains. However, given to Dogs can be poisonous. 
  • The bad.  Dark chocolate is higher in calories and saturated fat than regular choclate. Eating large amounts could cause caffeine-related side effects such as sleeplessness, and a faster heartbeat.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.” Charles M. Schulz.

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