Chocolate Bar Can Make You And Your Heart Happy

Chocolate can make you happy. Yes, this is definitely true especially for those chocolate lovers. But chocolate can make your heart happy! It sound contradicting to what you are normally told : "Don't take too much chocolate, it will increase your weight, and over-weight is a risk factor for heart disease." Is this some kind of joke? No, this is true because a small study conducted in 2005 by University of L'Aquila in Italy had found that dark chocolate (not milk chocolate) may help reduce blood pressure and boost body's ability to metabolize sugar from food.

Investigation revealed that after eating only 100 g of dark chocolate everyday for 15 days, 15 healthy people had lower blood pressure and were more sensitive to insulin, an important factor in metabolizing sugar. However, for this same group of people, eating roughly the same amount (90 g) of milk chocolate for the same period of time (15 days) did not affect either their blood pressure or insulin sensitivity.

High level of a kind of antioxidant called flavonoids can be found in dark chocolate. Flavonoids can help maintain a healthy heart and good circulation, and reduce blood clotting that could lead to heart attack and stroke. Flavonoids help the body by neutralizing potentially cell-damaging substances known as oxygen-free radicals, which are a normal by-product of metabolism.

Type of chocolate does matter as this have been confirmed by two other researches. One study showed that eating milk chocolate could hardly raise antioxidant levels in the blood possibly because milk interferes with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate. The other one found that there was a drop in blood pressure for a group of elderly people eating dark chocolate bars, but not milk chocolate that contains no flavonoids.

The above finding is no doubt a good news for chocolate lovers as this will give them a perfectly good excuse to consume more chocolate, dark one, of course. But, dark chocolate does contain a lot of fat and calories. Each 100 g of dark chocolate contains roughly 500 calories. Therefore, if you intend to add more dark chocolate to your diet, you definitely need to cut down the equivalent amount of calories absorbed from other foods to avoid possible weight gain.

It is good that scientists conduct investigations to identify healthy foods and understand how food components influence normal physiology as this will help to improve the health of our population. Because of the technology available, more and more researches on foods will be conducted and reported to the public. But, does it mean that we should follow every recommendation that emerged from each and every research? Probably different people will have difficult answers depending on how the findings will affect them.

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About The Author, Ng Peng Hock
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