Chocolate News! - Chocolate: The Best Medicine?
Free radicals are chemical compounds created naturally in the human body which cause disease and aging. But antioxidants can destroy free radicals in the body and help slow the aging process, and they are thought to help prevent heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Antioxidants are found in certain vegetables, fruits, and other foods.
One popular food that is high in antioxidants is dark chocolate. In fact, cocoa beans are more antioxidant-rich than any other food! Other good sources include broccoli and many fruits--especially berries such as acai berries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. (Did you know that a dark-chocolate-dipped strawberry was so good for you?)
Research has shown that of all chocolate products, natural cocoa powder contains the most beneficial antioxidants. Dark chocolate also contains high amounts, because it is made with more cocoa than other chocolates and because it is comparatively unprocessed.
Antioxidant compounds in cocoa called flavanols have long been thought to offer health benefits. Recently, scientists found direct links between epicatechin, a flavanol which is highly concentrated in cocoa, and cardiovascular health. In fact, prominent researchers have indicated that epicatechin may be as important as penicillin, and should be considered a vitamin!
The Kuna Indians live on islands off the coast of Panama. In their society the risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes--four of the five most prevalent killer diseases--is reduced to less than 10%! What makes the Kuna different from the rest of the world? They drink cocoa, and lots of it--up to 40 cups of natural cocoa per week. Interestingly, Kuna who have migrated to the mainland and who consume much less cocoa (only about four cups per week) have a lower level of cardiovascular health, on average, than their island-dwelling kin.
One reason for this is that flavanols in chocolate are known to improve circulation by relaxing the walls of blood vessels and decreasing platelet activity.
Since doctors agree that eating small amounts of dark chocolate on a regular basis may significantly increase cardiovascular health, there’s no reason not to enjoy a little of this favorite treat every day!
Cocoa 'Vitamin' Health Benefits Could Outshine Penicillin
A Few Squares Of Dark Chocolate A Day May Stave Off Artery Hardening In Smokers
In Chocolate, More Cocoa Means Higher Antioxidant Capacity
Chocolate News! - Brush Your Teeth With... Chocolate?
According to research done at Tulane University, a cocoa powder extract appears to be more effective than fluoride in fighting cavities!
The extract is chemically similar to caffeine and occurs naturally in chocolate and tea, as well as other products. Like fluoride--which has been added to toothpaste for almost 100 years--it has the effect of hardening tooth enamel, making teeth less susceptible to decay.
Tulane doctoral candidate Arman Sadeghpour performed research comparing the effectiveness of the cocoa extract to fluoride... and the extract actually performed better than fluoride in protecting tooth enamel! Sadeghpour created a peppermint-flavored prototype of his new toothpaste, which he says could be approved for use and on the market within two to four years.
Chocolate Toothpaste? Extract Of Tasty Treat Could Fight Tooth Decay
ScienceDaily (May 19, 2007)
Chocolate News! -So... Is Chocolate Good? Bad? Or Both?
Ever wonder what’s in chocolate?
Chocolate is made from the cacao bean, which contains over 400 chemicals! Let’s take a look at some of them, which happen to be very good for you:
The fats in chocolate are mostly “good” fats: oleic acid (also found in olive oil) and stearic acid, which the human body can convert to oleic acid. And though there’s a small amount of saturated fat in chocolate, studies indicate that it does not affect blood cholesterol levels.
Cacao beans also contain chemicals called flavonoids. These are antioxidants -- which not only protect chocolate from turning rancid, but can also protect the human body from disease and reduce some affects of aging. The most important flavonoids are called flavanols, which are also found in some fruits and teas -- but dark chocolate contains the greatest concentration.
Chocolate contains high amounts of tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine, all amino acids from which the body not only builds protein but also dopamine (which scientists believe stimulates the brain’s pleasure receptors) and adrenaline.
Two other notable chemicals in chocolate are theobromine and caffeine. These, along with adrenaline, may contribute to some chocolate-lovers experiencing increased heart rates and blood pressure, and sometimes even heartburn.
On the other hand, recent studies have shown that dark chocolate or cocoa helps relax blood vessels (which lowers blood pressure), improves insulin sensitivity, and benefits the blood by lowering platelet reactivity and decreasing inflammation, as well as improving cholesterol profiles.
The final verdict? Chocolate can provide many significant health benefits (see [Other Article] for more details). Like all good things, though, there’s such a thing as too much... so be sure to balance your diet!
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Chocolate and Your Health — Guilty Pleasure or Terrific Treat?
Chocolate and your health in the news!
Chocolate is also great for getting your Magnesium. A diet high in this mineral protects against symptoms of hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, joint problems and pre-menstrual tension.
Chocolate has important nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and vitamins A, B1, C, D, and E.
Coca butter, the natural fat in chocolate, contains fat that doesn't raise your bad cholesterol and a fat like that found in olive oil which may raise your good cholesterol level.
A one-and-a-half ounce serving of milk chocolate contains about 400 milligrams of antioxidants, the same as a glass of red wine.
Chocolate acts similarly to aspirin in promoting healthy blood flow and reducing the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
The flavanols in chocolate have been found to relax vascular tissue and blood vessel walls also aiding in general cardiovascular health.
Please read further articles...
to Lower Blood Pressure | Chocolate
Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease | Eat Chocolate
Be Happy | Milk Chocolate Good for You Too?
to Lower Blood Pressure
By CARLA K. JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer Mon Feb. 27, 4:44 PM ET
CHICAGO - Leave it to the Dutch to help demonstrate the health benefits
of chocolate. A study of older men in The Netherlands, known for its
luscious chocolate, indicated those who ate the equivalent of one-third
of a chocolate bar every day had lower blood pressure and a reduced
risk of death. ADVERTISEMENT
The researchers say, however, it's too early to conclude it was chocolate
that led to better health. The men who ate more cocoa products could
have shared other qualities that made them healthier. Experts also
point out that eating too much chocolate can make you fat a risk for
both heart disease and high blood pressure.
Chocolate Hearts - research indicates
chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids that reduce risk
of cardiovascular disease
Science News, March 18, 2000 by Janet Raloff new
Yummy and good medicine?
More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate changed hands
in the United States on Valentine's Day this year. The holiday's
total chocolate sales approached $1 billion. Yet this confection's
link to hearts is extending even beyond the lucrative candy business.
Chocolate and cocoa powder are derived from beans that contain hefty
quantities of natural antioxidants called flavonoids. In recent
years, research has correlated consumption of tea, red wine, read
Read more about chocolate in the news.
Eat Chocolate, Be Happy
Researchers say chocolate triggers feel-good chemicals
From Correspondent Linda Ciampa ATLANTA (CNN) -- 'I probably have
a little every day, because I think it makes you feel good when
you get some.' Those are the words of a chocolate lover.
Those sweet desires are not just imagined. Now, researchers have
found that eating chocolate, the number one food craved by American
women, causes the brain to release endorphins, chemicals that make
us feel good.
'So we eat chocolate so we release and experience pleasure and so
as a result, we crave chocolate,'said Adam Drewnowski of the University
of Michigan. 'We want chocolate in times of stress, anxiety, pain
and so on. Chocolate is a natural analgesic, or pain killer.'
Milk Chocolate - A Brain Booster?
Hey, I'll look for any excuse to eat the stuff, and it's been
long known that dark chocolate has tons of health benefits. Now
they are saying that adding milk chocolate to your diet will boost
your brain power! How convenient is that?! Now we have even more
excuses to enjoy our addiction!
"Chocolate contains many substances that act as stimulants, such
as theobromine, phenethylamine, and caffeine," Dr Bryan Raudenbush
from Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia said.
"These substances by themselves have previously been found to
increase alertness and attention and what we have found is that
by consuming chocolate you can get the stimulating effects, which
then lead to increased mental performance," he said.
The scientists took several lucky participants and each of them
ate either milk or dark chocolate, carob, or nothing (the control
subject, poor bloke!) They then put them on a computer to test
memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem solving. "Composite
scores for verbal and visual memory were significantly higher for
milk chocolate than the other conditions," Dr Raudenbush said.
Well, there you go! An excuse to eat the stuff!