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!
- Sources: Seahawks extend Carroll through 2019 July 27, 2016Sources: Seahawks extend Carroll through 2019
- Paxton Lynch believes he's made significant progress in the Broncos' offense July 27, 2016Paxton Lynch believes he's made significant progress in the Broncos' offense
- With no clear WR leader, maybe Titans should sign Andre Johnson July 26, 2016With no clear WR leader, maybe Titans should sign Andre Johnson
- Eddie's ready: Packers tired of talking about Lacy's weight July 26, 2016Eddie's ready: Packers tired of talking about Lacy's weight
- Eagles LB charged with assault in hotel incident July 26, 2016Eagles LB charged with assault in hotel incident
- Chargers need Joey Bosa in camp sooner rather than later July 26, 2016Chargers need Joey Bosa in camp sooner rather than later
- Source: Chiefs' Berry not expected at camp start July 26, 2016Source: Chiefs' Berry not expected at camp start
- Quad to sideline Browns' Gordon for few weeks July 26, 2016Quad to sideline Browns' Gordon for few weeks
- Elliott to be in Cowboys camp despite incident July 26, 2016Elliott to be in Cowboys camp despite incident
- Rookie Lynch says he can vie for Broncos QB job July 26, 2016Rookie Lynch says he can vie for Broncos QB job
- Sources: Seahawks extend Carroll through 2019 July 27, 2016