For years, green tea has been a hit in alternative health care – its cardiovascular benefits are well known. And with all the hype surrounding antioxidants since the end, green tea has quickly gone from an exotic import of East to an American staple.
But it turns out that another hot beverage hiding in the shadows awaits just the right moment to take its place among the new wave of heart-healthy treats.
Hot cocoa & # 150; According to a research report recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, cocoa-rich foods appear to be far more successful in reducing high blood pressure than green teas and black teas.
According to their research test, subjects consuming foods containing real cocoa for at least 2 weeks found a decrease in blood pressure comparable to that of subjects taking medications commonly prescribed for blood pressure.
And the researchers concluded that such a drop would effectively reduce the chances of suffering from heart disease such as heart attacks and strokes by 10 to 20%!
The researchers noted that cocoa and green tea both contain polyphenols (an extremely potent antioxidant that prevents many forms of cardiovascular disease), but that those found in cocoa are much more dynamic.
Now, many of you may have a hard time believing that a treat as delicious as chocolate can do a lot for your heart. But their research fits perfectly into a study I reported in the January 17 issue of NatureCast News.
In this study, researchers at the University of L'Aquila in Italy examined the effects of dark chocolate on hypertension (high blood pressure) and their results were equally impressive.
All participants in this study had a systolic blood pressure of 140 to 159 and a diastolic blood pressure score of 90 to 99. None of the participants were taking any medication for high blood pressure of any type. and was free of diabetes and other diseases.
After a period of one week during which the subjects did not consume chocolate, participants in group A received 3.5 ounces of white chocolate to consume daily (all the same ingredients as dark chocolate without the beneficial flavonoids). While Group B participants received 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate a day.
And the results after just 15 days of testing were quite impressive – a 12 mm HG (millimeters of mercury) decrease in systolic blood pressure and a 9 mm HG (millimeters of mercury) decrease in diastolic levels in the dark chocolate group .
However, no changes were observed in the white chocolate control group. An impressive comparison & # 150; especially since the duration of the study was only 15 days.
Most health experts would agree that foods rich in flavonoids should be an integral part of a healthy and balanced diet. And now, with cranberries, kale, apples and onions & # 150; we can add some good old black cocoa to the list.
Just remember & # 150; Make sure you are using real black cocoa and not a mixture of cocoa powder, milk chocolate or white chocolate. Unfortunately, they do not contain any of the true cocoa antioxidants that fight free radicals.
Not to mention milk chocolate and cocoa powder blends are loaded with sugar and saturated fats. So shop smart – and enjoy!
(Editor's Note: Doc Darville is a police officer, certified personal trainer and editor-in-chief of NatureCast News, a free electronic newsletter on alternative health that focuses on helping readers stay physically fit, healthy and sexually active Follow the links below to subscribe for free today. [http://www.naturecast.com/nl.html] )
Important Note: All information presented in NaureCast News is for informational purposes only. There is no specific medical advice – and all information presented in NatureCast News should not be considered as medical advice or instruction. You should not take any action regarding the advice contained in this document. Readers are strongly advised to seek the advice of an authorized health professional on any health or wellness issue. The opinions contained in NatureCast News are considered to be sound advice, but in no way replace the advice of competent medical advice.
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