Cocoa, the main ingredient in dark chocolate, not only lowers blood pressure, insulin levels, inflammation, while decreasing arterial spasms, it serves up potent antioxidants! Raising good HDL cholesterol, while leaving LDL levels alone, it has been named one of the heart healthy group – along with fish, fruits veggies, almonds, garlic…and happily wine. Including this group in our diet apparently will tack on over five more wonderful years to our lives, according to the British Medical Journal!
Cocoa contains flavanol, a nitric oxide stimulate, while acting as a vasodilator, lowers blood pressure. Research studies conducted with two groups of individuals with mild hypertension show that the group eating dark chocolate lowered their systolic reading by an average of five points. The other group ate white chocolate which does not contain cocoa, and had unchanged readings.
Dark chocolate has been shown to lower insulin levels, both fasting insulin and glucose levels, while improving insulin sensitivity overall. It looks like the dark yummy stuff actually regulates blood sugar.
It’s clear that inflammation is the culprit in a vast array of condition, including autoimmune disease, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Cocoa flavanols were shown to lower inflammation by reducing 5-lipoxygenase, an enzyme, which in turn stops excess production of leukotrienes, the culprit causing inflammation throughout the body.
In addition to it being healthy for our bod, there are also studies to suggest that cocoa’s compounds make us feel great, stimulating the same receptors that POW when we fall in love! No wonder we’re indulging!
Keep it healthy by looking for bars that have at least 70 percent cocoa, and eating no more than a quarter bar a day. Indulge in a glass of nice red wine and some grapes while you’re at it!
- Rams finalize practice squad minus Sam September 1, 2014The St. Louis Rams announced their 10-man practice squad Monday afternoon and defensive end Michael Sam is not part of it.Nick Wagoner
- Coughlin: Beckham 'couple, 3 weeks away' September 1, 2014Rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. could be weeks away from returning for the New York Giants.Dan Graziano
- It's 'unofficial': Lions' Fairley a starter again September 1, 2014Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley returns to the team's starting lineup.Michael Rothstein
- Titans agree to contract with kicker Succup September 1, 2014Veteran kicker Ryan Succop has agreed to a one-year deal with the Tennessee Titans who chose to go with experience rather than an undrafted rookie.Associated Press
- Chiefs' Smith wanted deal prior to season September 1, 2014Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said Monday he didn't want to go into the season without a contract extension. He won't have to after signing a four-year extension a day earlier.Adam Teicher
- Welker practices, not cleared for contact September 1, 2014Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker (concussion) returns to practice.Jeff Legwold
- Bills' Watkins: Ribs 'feel just about normal' September 1, 2014Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins said his injured ribs feel "just about normal" after practicing Monday.Mike Rodak
- Gronkowski says he's cleared for Week 1 September 1, 2014Rob Gronkowski said Monday that he has been cleared to play in the New England Patriots' opener Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.Mike Reiss
- Baylor unveils RG III statue at new stadium September 1, 2014RG III in bronze and boats on the water at Baylor.Associated Press
- 49ers' McDonald arrested for domestic violence September 1, 2014San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald has been arrested on domestic violence charges.Paul Gutierrez
- Rams finalize practice squad minus Sam September 1, 2014