Scientists have proven that dark chocolate has the same type of flavonoids that antioxidant rich foods such as green tea, red fruits and vegetables, and red wine do. High blood levels of flavonoids contribute to good cardiovascular health and may lower the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Nutritionists are quick to point out, though, that the antioxidant benefits of a bar of chocolate can be achieved with far fewer calories by having steamed vegetables or a cup of green tea instead. Diana Rodenberg, registered dietician at St. Luke’s Hospital, says that if you want to add chocolate to your diet, you will probably have to compensate for the calories and fat by taking out something else.
Dark chocolate is commandeering real estate in the candy aisle, quite pleased with its deep, dark self.
It just so happens that researchers recently have focused on the potential health benefits of dark chocolate, which ultimately could translate into ...
Chocolate is made from cacao beans, a great source of flavonoids and a beneficial plant compound that's in other good stuff including green and red fruits and vegetables, red wine and green tea.
Scientists are finding that higher blood levels of flavonoids create good cardiovascular effects, the kind that may lower the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
For dark chocolate lovers, the research, much of it sponsored by candy maker Mars Inc., is promising.
A report in the March issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition linked high-flavonoid dark chocolate with improved blood pressure.
Diana Rodenberg, registered dietician at St. Luke's Hospital, said that these are the same antioxidant effects people get from fruits and vegetables and for a lot fewer calories.
"We all hope that flavonoids and antioxidants turn out to reduce heart disease and cancer, but we don't have that evidence yet," she said.
"My concern is that until recently, people ate chocolate sparingly because they knew it wasn't broccoli.
They knew they had to be cautious," said Liebman, who noted that she isn't opposed to small amounts of candy as a treat.
Experts say dark chocolate, high in calories and fat, still can be a healthy choice compared with other treats because of potentially good effects of flavonoids
Eat chocolate after supper when you are full and less likely to overindulge.
Remember it's a treat, something extra, and shouldn't replace nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.
Eat a small amount, in the range of 1 to 2 ounces.
About the author: Mike Adams is a natural health researcher, author and award-winning journalist with a mission to teach personal and planetary health to the public He has authored more than 1,800 articles and dozens of reports, guides and interviews on natural health topics, and he has published numerous courses on preparedness and survival, including financial preparedness, emergency food supplies, urban survival and tactical self-defense. Adams is an independent journalist with strong ethics who does not get paid to write articles about any product or company. In 2010, Adams co-founded NaturalNews.com, a natural health video sharing site that has now grown in popularity. He also launched an online retailer of environmentally-friendly products (BetterLifeGoods.com) and uses a portion of its profits to help fund non-profit endeavors. He's also a successful software entrepreneur, having founded a well known email marketing software company whose technology currently powers the NaturalNews email newsletters. Adams also serves as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a non-profit consumer protection group, and pursues hobbies such as martial arts, Capoeira, nature macrophotography and organic gardening. Known as the 'Health Ranger,' Adams' personal health statistics and mission statements are located at www.HealthRanger.org
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