It has been known for some time that eating dark chocolate is good for your heart, but now there is research that indicates dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa, the higher the better for your health, helps prevent strokes and limit the severity of strokes. You can find these chocolates almost anywhere, including Wal-Mart or other groceries.
There is no research that shows white chocolate (which is really not chocolate), milk chocolate, or any chocolate other than dark chocolate has any medicinal benefits. More research will be done on the other chocolates.
On most packages the percentage of cocoa in on the front packaging. You can purchase chocolate bars that are sweetened, semi-sweet or 'baking chocolate' which can be unsweetened and used in cooking or to make sauces and candies.
A study of nearly 50,000 people found that those eating chocolate were 22 per cent less likely to suffer a stroke than those that didn't. And those who did suffer a stroke but had indulged in chocolate were 46 per cent less likely to die as a result. (The Telegraph, hat tip Marcus Wilder)
A new analysis, which involved a review of three prior studies, suggests eating about a bar of chocolate a week can help cut the risk of stroke and lower the risk of death after a stroke. But the evidence is still limited, says study author, neurologist Gustavo Saposnik at St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto. [snip]
One study they looked at found that 44,489 people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22% less likely to have a stroke than people who ate no chocolate. Another study found that 1,169 people who ate 50 grams of chocolate once a week were 46% less likely to die following a stroke than people who didn't eat chocolate.
The research appears in this week's Neurology and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 62nd annual meeting in Toronto in April. (USA Today)
Raw cocoa has the highest antioxidant value of all the natural foods in the world!
Cocoa also appears to have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. And cocoa is a good source of the minerals magnesium, sulphur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, and manganese; plus some of the B Vitamins.
Fresh cocoa beans are super-rich in the type of bioflavonoid called flavanols which are strong antioxidants that help maintain healthy blood flow and blood pressure. The heart-healthy flavanols in cocoa, especially the epicatechins, prevent fatty substances in the bloodstream from oxidizing and then clogging the arteries.
Flavanols help make blood platelets less likely to stick together and cause blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes ... (more)
This latest information on chocolate comes on the heals of recent studies on wine is good for your health. Not only is red wine good for your heart, but so is white wine, and any form of alcohol (vodka, gin, whiskey, tequila, etc.) in moderate amounts on a daily basis.
I make sweet hubby candy using unsweetened chocolate and Splenda, rather than sugar. One piece a day after dinner. What a simple thing to do to improve your chances of heart and artery health.
Go forth, eat chocolate, drink wine or other alcohol, and be healthy!