Can eating chocolate be good for my heart?
The British Heart Foundation is running a Dechox campaign in February to encourage us to give up chocolate and raise money for the fight against heart disease.
So what is the effect of chocolate on the heart?
Well, let us spill the cocoa beans.
The good news is that there are research studies that have demonstrated some cardiac benefits. Previous studies have shown that those who ate chocolate habitually had a lower risk of developing cardiac diseases and strokes in comparison to those who didn’t eat chocolate at all. The underlying mechanism proposed for this benefit is the antioxidant properties of flavonoids that are found in cocoa beans. Antioxidants prevent and repair cell damage caused by free radicals, particularly to the innermost layer of the heart arteries. Furthermore, they prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries and the oxidation of LDL or “bad” cholesterol which is associated with a higher risk of coronary disease.
Flavanols are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate and as well as their antioxidant qualities, flavanols have other potential influences on vascular health. They can lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and reduce the ability of blood to be able to clot by making platelets less sticky. As well as chocolate, flavanols are found in a variety of food items including cranberries, apples, peanuts, onions, tea and red wine.
To read the full article go to our latest blog.
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Today is day 6 of 10 being sugar and carb free and over on the blog I’m discussing why I’m doing this (link in bio). *Hint, it has nothing to do with weight loss. Not that I’m saying I’ll be sugar free forever because 👆🏼 hello! That looks so yummy but with everything I’ve been reading I’m cutting way wayyyy back! And there’s a good chance I break my sugar free streak with this yummy vegan cheesecake from @laurenlowstan