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!
- Falcons agree with WR White on 4-year deal July 24, 2014The Atlanta Falcons and veteran wide receiver Roddy White have agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2018 season.Vaughn McClure
- Source: Gordon to appeal suspension Aug. 1 July 24, 2014Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Josh Gordon will appeal his one-year suspension in a meeting with NFL officials on Aug. 1, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.ESPN.com news services
- Chiefs sign Charles to contract extension July 24, 2014Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs agrees to a two-year contract extension.Adam Teicher
- NFL suspends Jaguars WR Sanders 4 games July 24, 2014The NFL has suspended Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Ace Sanders without pay for the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.Associated Press
- Source: 49ers' Smith to visit Goodell soon July 24, 2014Aldon Smith and the San Francisco 49ers should learn fairly soon what if any disciplinary action the star pass-rusher will receive from the NFL.Bill Williamson
- Cowboys' Jones says Garrett not under gun July 24, 2014Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones doesn't view 2014 as a win-or-else year for his head coach even as Jason Garrett enters the final year of his contract.Todd Archer
- Browns fan urinates on Art Modell's grave July 23, 2014A Cleveland Browns fan posted a video on YouTube showing himself urinating beside Art Modell's grave in Pikesville, Maryland.Jamison Hensley
- Jets' Johnson impresses in conditioning drills July 23, 2014After sitting out the offseason as he recovered from knee surgery, New York Jets running back Chris Johnson was medically cleared recently by Dr. James Andrews to participate in training camp. And he got off to an impressive start Wednesday.Rich Cimini
- Davis ends holdout, reports to 49ers camp July 23, 2014It appears Vernon Davis' holdout from the San Francisco 49ers is over before it really got started.Bill Williamson
- Seahawks receiver Rice retires at age 27 July 23, 2014Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice is retiring at age 27.Terry Blount
- Falcons agree with WR White on 4-year deal July 24, 2014