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Magic Beans: How Cocoa Improves Cardiovascular Health

dark chocolateCocoa beans processed into cocoa solids could give the “magic” beans in Jack and the Beanstalk a run for their money with their antioxidant power that can help fight high blood pressure, heart disease, arterial plaque, cancer, and stroke.

Dark chocolate that contains a minimal amount of additives has the highest cocoa content and thereby the most antioxidants for the ultimate in health benefits.

Get Low

Blood pressure, that is. In a study at the University of Adelaide in Australia, Dr. Karin Ried investigated the impact of chocolate consumption on blood pressure levels. Researchers concluded that dark chocolate has the capacity to “significantly, but modestly, reduce blood pressure for people with high blood pressure but not for people with normal blood pressure” (Source).

Plant Power

Flavanols, a type of flavanoid, are a natural component in many plant-based foods and offer a variety of health benefits. Their antioxidant qualities translate to improved vascular health, including of course, lowering blood pressure, increasing blood flow to both the heart and brain, and reducing cholesterol.

Another plant-based antioxidant – polyphenols – are found in cocoa beans and also have blood pressure lowering capabilities. With eight times the amount of polyphenol antioxidants as strawberries, dark chocolate just might rival some fruit in its beneficial qualities.

Join the Dark Side

Because dark chocolate generally contains higher amounts of unprocessed cocoa, it is higher in flavanol content, and therefore the preferred type of chocolate for maximizing health benefits. Though adding extra ingredients to chocolate makes for scrumptious sweets, doing so tends to reduce the amount of antioxidants contained in cocoa beans converted to chocolate. For the best results, stick with pure dark chocolate high in cocoa.

At Wockenfuss Candies, we feature a variety of dark chocolate treats, prepared with the finest ingredients. Whether you want to indulge a little with a truffle or solid blocks of chocolate goodness, we’ve got something in store to make you feel guilt-free about snacking on something sweet.

When you’re not savoring our sweets, stay satisfied by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest!

Sources:

Dark Chocolate Health Benefits for Blood Pressure

This entry was posted on Friday, November 9th, 2012 at 4:00 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.