Chocolates have been reported to maintain cardiovascular health.
As per News Max, studies have shown that cocoa in chocolates contains natural compounds called flavonols, which are beneficial to heart function as well as blood pressure. These compounds have the ability to enhance cardiovascular function by reducing the heart’s workload as well as helping the blood vessels cope with the effects of aging, such as stiffening or arteries.
Malte Kelm is a professor of cardiology, pulmonary disease, and vascular medicine at University Hospital Dusseldorf. According to Kelm, the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases like cerebrovascular accident increases, since the world population is getting older. The professor added that it is important for the public to understand the positive effects diet can bring to people who are at risk for cardiovascular problems.
Kelm organized two studies that aimed to determine the effects of dietary cocoa flavanols on the blood vessels of healhy, low-risk individuals who do not have signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease.
The first study involved two groups of healthy males drank either a flavonol-containing drink or a non-flavonol-containing drink, two times a day for two weeks. The study results revealed that those men who had the flavonol-containing drinks demonstrated significant enhancement in blood pressure and healthy dilation of blood vessels.
The second trial involved 100 healthy middle-aged men and women and they were allocated by chance to a flavonol-containing drink or a non-flavonol-containing drink, twice a day for about a month. According to the study results, those participants who had the flavonol-containing drink proved to have reduced levels of arterial stiffness, blood pressure, and cholesterol, which are all related to cardiovascular diseases.
With the results of the two trials, Kelm and his team deduced that flavonols may have preventive properties to cardiovascular diseases.
The health benefits of cocoa seem to be diverse that some medical experts consider developing a supplement in the form of a chocolate pill, as per Discovery News. Aside from its cardiovascular benefits, research studies have also shown that cocoa has phytochemicals that help protect an individual from cancer.
According to neurology professor Giulio Maria Pasinetti, there is a heightening interest in developing cocoa extract and dietary chocolate as sources to help promote a person’s overall health, in addition to the prevention of certain neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
Several factors should be considered in order to improve an operative cocoa supplement, one of which is the manner how cocoa is being processed. According to Pasinetti, there are various processing methods that extract 90 percent of healthy phytochemicals from chocolates. This way, it would be easier for researchers and scientists to check the efficacy of the cocoa supplement. While this is possible, some regions face problems, such as limited sources of cocoa, along with the bean’s predisposition to disease.
With the possibility of developing cocoa supplements, its success will depend on the interplay among cocoa growers, wholesalers, and the biomedical organizations. While some supplements are bland when it comes to taste, chocolate supplements can make an exception.
Overall, since chocolates have known benefits to human health, people can enjoy eating their favorite chocolates.