Why is chocolate (cocoa) good for your heart’s health?
The health benefits of chocolate are becoming well known as a growing number of medical studies now suggest. Dark chocolate bars contain flavenoids which act as antioxidants in the body. Flavenoids may help to lower blood pressure too, decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, lower blood clot risk, improve cognitive performance and improve mood, according to the University of Michigan Health System.
According to a study from Yale University Prevention Research Center by Katz etal:
“Cocoa contains more phenolic antioxidants than most foods. Flavonoids… predominate in antioxidant activity. The tricyclic structure of the flavonoids determines antioxidant effects…, inhibit enzymes, and up regulate antioxidant defenses. The epicatechin content of cocoa is primarily responsible for its favorable impact on vascular endothelium… Other cardiovascular effects are mediated through anti-inflammatory effects of cocoa polyphenols… Antioxidant effects of cocoa may directly influence insulin resistance and, in turn, reduce risk for diabetes.”
There is also solid evidence that chocolate can increase HDL or “good” cholesterol, says Eric Ding, PhD, instructor of medicine and nutritional epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School. In general, the lower your LDL and the higher your HDL, the better your chances of preventing heart disease and other chronic conditions.
So in the end, eating chocolate in moderation may indeed prevent heart disease. The selection of Heart Disease Awareness candy bars at WrappedHersheys.com is the perfect place to start. And you don’t have to wait until Heart Disease Awareness Month each February! Anytime is a good time for a heart healthy diet.