Thursday, April 27, 2006


A daily dose of chocolate could help prevent heart diseases, according to the latest research. It has to be dark, bitter chocolate, though. The anti-oxidants from chocolate might prevent the narrowing of blood veins.

A Swiss research team reached this conclusion after a test performed on a group of 20 volunteers, all of them smokers without health problems. The participants were asked not to eat any other kind of anti-oxidant rich aliments -such as apples, onions, broccoli or cabbage- and they were given afterwards 40 grams of different types nf chocolate.

Tests performed two hours after consuming the chocolate, confirmed that dark chocolate, with a cocoa mass of at least 74%, improved the blood flow. Following tests showed that the risk of blood clots had decreased by half. Unhappily, white chocolate –my favorite- did not achieve the same results. Apparently, dark chocolate has the largest amount of anti-oxidants per gram between the foods famous by their anti-oxidant power -red vine, green tea or forests fruits, to name a few.

I am sharing this with you as I have read it. Probably more research needs to be done to confirm the results. So don’t leap for the chocolate bar just yet.

Chocolate contains, it is true, many anti-oxidant compounds. Remember that is also carries large amounts of fats and sugars. This could lead to weight problems when consumed in excess. What is more, chocolate is tough on the liver. Consuming too much could create a problem as bad as the one being prevented.

Adjust the portion to your weight and level of physical activity. Very active people can have chocolate without any fear of excessive weight gain. People sitting all day on a chair and not doing any kind of sports cannot afford the luxury of eating too much chocolate. Sometimes we crave sweets, and when we are cold, tired, or worn out we can give in a little bit; otherwise the chocolate portion should be minimal.

And, remember, if you are seeking heart benefits, it has to be dark chocolate. Milk chocolate or white chocolate do not –sob- have the same effect.

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