After conducting around 7 different studies, including more than 100,000 people, researchers at University of Cambridge in the U.K. said that,
“consumption of chocolate was linked to lower rates of stroke, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions.
But there was no beneficial effect on the risk for heart failure or diabetes.”
Earlier studies have hinted that chocolate may protect against high blood pressure and diabetes, both of which are known risk factors for heart disease and stroke, but there hasn’t been any study that peers into the effects of chocolate on reducing risk of heart disease. Therefore after 7 published studies, Dr. Oscar H. Franco, Cambridge was able to point out to the fact that,
The 7-study research, also emphasized on the amount of chocolate consumed by subjects, ranging it from never to more than once per day; along with all possible sources of chocolate like bars, drinks, cookies etc. Although, during the entire duration of the study, which stretched from 8-16 years, the exact type of chocolate (milk or dark) consumed was not followed.
HOW CHOCOLATE WORKS
The secret ingredient in chocolate, polyphenols, is an antioxidant which is known to accelerate the body’s production of the chemical nitric oxide. This nitric oxide helps in a better functioning of arteries and maintains blood pressure.
Robert Bonow, MD, of Northwestern University in Chicago, who has also presided over American Heart Association in the past said if scientists knew, what is the secret of chocolate, it could have been isolated and sold in capsules. However, for the fear of exceeding calorie intake and sugar factor, Dr. Franco advises to stick to dark chocolate and its variant in limited amounts. Anything chocolate with higher on calories and fat is bound to cause more harm than benefits.
BONUS RECIPE: SUGAR-FREE, FAT-FREE CHOCOLATE COOKIES
Ingredients: Serve 10 cookies
1 cup quick oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Splenda
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp canola
3 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate sauce (Mix 4 tbsp unsweetened, non-alkalinized cocoa with 4 tbsp of Splenda, stir, add water till reaches 1/2 cup)
1. Preheat the oven to 400º and prepare cookie pans by coating them with cooking spray.
2. In a bowl, mix together oats, flour, Splenda, walnuts, cranberries, baking powder & baking soda.
3. In a small container, add canola oil and water and mix them well, using a fork
4. To this oil mixture, add chocolate sauce & vanilla extract and then add them to the dry ingredients. Fold well, but don’t overmix.
5. Using rounded tablespoon, drop the batter onto the cookie pans, press slightly with fingers, & bake for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to cookie racks.
With just 114 calories each, you’ll also get the benefits of:
Omega 3 & 6 acids by walnuts.
Antioxidants by cranberries and natural unsweetened Cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is know to have 29 times more antioxidants than broccoli.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 at 1:29 pm and is filed under Health Conditions, Healthy Recipes, Heart Conditions, News & Updates and tagged with antioxidant, BONUS RECIPE, cardiovascular conditions, chocolate, CHOCOLATE COOKIES, consumption, coronary heart disease, dark Chocolate, diabetes, fat-free, good, heart, Heart Failure, high blood pressure, lower rates, nitric oxide, Polyphenol, risk factors, Stroke, SUGAR-FREE, superfood, UK, University of Cambridge. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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