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posted on: 10/25/2011 10:36:35 AM EST
Choosing the right chocolate for heart and brain health
healthy chocolate, brain health, heart health

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August 29, 2011 by Isagenix Nutritional Sciences
Eating chocolate could protect your heart, but what kind?
By now you might have heard the great news: chocolate is unmistakably good for you. And chocoholics are certain to rejoice with the findings of a systematic review in the British Medical Journal (1) that suggests enjoying chocolate daily may bring better health to their hearts. Chocolate’s benefits are mainly the result of cocoa powder’s rich content of antioxidant flavanols. But here’s a caution—don’t let the media attention fool you into gorging on the wrong kind of chocolate!

While most chocolate varieties (except white) do offer some degree of heart-healthy cocoa powder, they can also contain relatively high amounts of calories from not-so-healthy sources such as refined sugars and solid fats. These types of chocolate may hinder or side track your health and weight management goals. You can make the most of each delicious bite by choosing a variety that is sure to provide you the greatest benefits.

Dark chocolate, for example, is generally lower in calories and contains relatively minor amounts of sugar and solid fats. And, to be called dark, it must be made of at least 70 percent cocoa powder, which raises its health potential. Yet, it should be noted, not all dark chocolates are alike. Careful manufacturing makes certain the final delivery of healthy doses of antioxidant flavonols.

The findings from the BMJ review, along with other recent studies, are adding only more reason that flavonol-rich dark chocolate should be enjoyed for a mix of health attributes:

•New research in Spain evaluated cocoa in a human intervention study and found that it acts on several proteins implicated with reducing oxidative stress, which is a factor of aging (2).
•A recent meta-analysis from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston evaluated 10 randomized, clinical trials that demonstrated that cocoa may help with managing healthy lipids (3).
•New research from the University of Reading suggests dark chocolate may improve cognition and visual performance (4).
•A recent meta-analysis from University of Adelaide evaluated 13 randomized, controlled trials and found that flavonol-rich dark chocolate was superior to a placebo in supporting healthy blood pressure (5).
More than a simple confection, IsaDelight Plus is designed as a “guilt-free pleasure” for satisfying cravings, assisting with weight management, and easing through Isagenix Cleanse Days. Now, the latest research shows that each decadent piece may be good for your heart, help keep your body young, all while boosting mood, vision, and brain performance.

References

1. Buitrago-Lopez et al. Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. British Medical Journal 2011;343:d4488. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d4488

2. Vazquez-Agell M et al. Cocoa consumption reduces NF-kB activation in peripheral mononuclear cells in humans. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease. Published online ahead of print, doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2011.03.015.

3. Tokede OA, Gaziano JM and Djousse L. Effects of cocoa products/dark chocolate on serum lipids: a meta-analysis. Eur J Clin Nutr 2011;65:879-886. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2011.64

4. Field DT et al. Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in an acute improvement in visual and cognitive functions. Physiology & Behavior 103 (3-4): 255-60. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.02.013

5. Ried K et al. Does chocolate reduce blood pressure? A meta-analysis. BMC Medicine 2010; 8:39. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-8-39







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Ron Barnas   1038 day(s) ago
Thanks I love Chocolate, Dark Chocolate not my favorite but still pretty good. Will being eating quite a lot of it during the Holidays.
 
Judith Osowski   1061 day(s) ago
Dark chocolate is my favorite! I'm happy to hear it's healthy too!
 
Mary Carter   1061 day(s) ago
Enjoyed you blog. I like dark chocolate the best, but I had to develop a taste for it.
 


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