Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dark chocolate is a SuperFood!

Cocoa for hypertension. According to recent estimates, nearly 1-in-3 American adults has high blood pressure. But for the Kuna Indians living on a group of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama, hypertension doesn't even exist. In fact, after age 60, the average blood pressure for Kuna Indian islanders is a perfect 110/70. Is it because they eat less salt? No. Kuna Indians eat as much, if not more salt, than people in the U.S.

Is it due to their genes? No. Kuna Indians who move away from the islands are just as likely to suffer from high blood pressure as anyone else! So what makes these folks practically "immune" to hypertension–and lets them enjoy much lower death rates from heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cancer?

Harvard researchers were stunned to discover it's because they drink about 5 cups of cocoa each day. That's right, cocoa! Studies show the flavonols in cocoa stimulate your body's production of nitric oxide– boosting blood flow to your heart, brain, and other organs. In fact, one study found cocoa thins your blood just as well as low-dose asprin!

But that's not all. A Harvard Medical School professor claims cocoa can also treat blocked arteries, congestive heart failure, stroke, dementia even impotence! Just be sure you drink the special type of cocoa!

Dark chocolate is a SuperFood! I know, milk chocolate taste better, remember the foods that taste best, most of the time,are not the best for your health! Once you get use to the dark, you will lose the desire for the other. For many of us, this is a dream come true. The interesting thing for myself and others, once we think of chocolate as a food that's beneficial to health, that makes it alot easier to stay with the healthier Dark chocolate!

This news doesn't mean that you should toss out the oatmeal and fill your cabinets with chocolate!

What makes Dark Chocolate a superfood? Polyphenols: the supernutrients one of the most abundant polytonutrients in the human diet, polyphenols is much higher than that of all other classes of phytonutrients and known dietary antioxidants.

Polyphenols act as antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, antimutagens, antiimicrobials, antivirals and antifungals. They help protect our DNA and inhibit the growth of unwanted blood vessels. They also decrease LDL-C oxidation, elevate HDLs, promote blood vessel dilation, decrease blood pressure.

Chocolate doesn't just have some flavonols,  it has lots. Below is a chart that list various foods flavonol content.

Based on 100 grams of various foods:  

red wine———-63mg                                                             
black tea, brewed—–65mg

cherry————-96mg                                                                   apple————111mg
dark chocolate——-510mg

When buying chocolate, select dark chocolate with a high level of cocoa solids. The  higher the amount of cocoa solids, the more polyenols the chocolate will contain. Manufacturers are getting wise to consumer interest, and you'll see more of this type of labeling on chocolate. Look for at least 70 percent cocoa solids. 

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