Lately people have been asking me about the health benefits of
chocolate. Chocolate does have benefits, including flavanoids and
antioxidants, but there are also a lot of risks associated with
chocolate. The benefits do not always out weight the risks.
Swedish researchers have contributed the latest glad tidings to a
growing number of studies indicating chocolate is beneficial for the
cardiovascular system. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology
, scientists found that women, who ate the most chocolate, had a 20 percent reduction in their stroke risk: USA Today
reports. In this case, the quantity consumed was approximately two candy bars per week.
Susanna Larsson explains that the healthful components of cocoa are
compounds called flavonoids, which have antioxidant activity and the
ability to impede the harmful oxidation of low-density lipoprotein
(LDL), known as "bad cholesterol." Since the oxidation of LDL leads to
the formation of plaque that causes cardiovascular disease, the
hindrance of this process reduces the risk of stroke. In addition to
this advantage, previous studies have shown dark chocolate consumption
can lower blood pressure and insulin resistance, as well as help prevent
the formation of blood clots.
In spite of the positive findings,
Larsson cautions against eating too much chocolate. She advises that it
be consumed in moderation, due to its high content of calories, fat and
sugar. Larsson also states that dark chocolate is superior to milk
chocolate because it has more cocoa and less sugar.
researchers at Karolinska Institute studied 33,000 women between the
ages of 49 and 83 over a 10-year period. Scientists compared data from
the participants' questionnaires about their chocolate consumption with
their stroke risk to determine if a correlation existed. Results
revealed the more chocolate the women consumed, the less stroke
incidence they incurred. The findings were significant because those who
ate 2.3 ounces of chocolate per week had a 20 percent reduced stroke
incidence compared to those who seldom ate chocolate.
the study does not prove chocolate was responsible for the reduced
incidence, after controlling for other stroke risk factors, the results
persisted: Larsson relayed to CBS News
. Additionally, she expects
the results to apply to men also. Regardless of the suggested benefit,
experts are advising people to keep the results in perspective and not
substitute chocolate for vegetables.http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitnes...http://www.reuters.com/article/2011...http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_...
Mary West - Natural News