A recent study suggests that chocolate may hold health benefits for some. Those at risk for cardiac problems may find life a little sweeter. However, there is some debate about the merits of “chocolate therapy.”
A trip to the candy store might not be as unhealthy as once believed. Choosing the right sweets can put you at a considerable health advantage. A recent study from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia attests to the powers of dark chocolate. High-risk cardiac patients showed observable health benefits when on a dark chocolate regimen.
The study recommends 3.5 ounces of chocolate on a daily basis. However, that is no excuse to clean out the candy aisle at your local market. The projected health benefits only apply to chocolate that is at least 70 percent cocoa. Additionally, the study only showed benefits for high-risk patients.
Like any other health regimen, “chocolate therapy” takes commitment. The study participants only showed improvements after eating the recommended amount of chocolate for ten years. So, if you want to get in on the trend, start now.
Some health experts disagree with the study. They note that excessive chocolate consumption can lead to obesity. Of course, this is counter-productive, as obesity can lead to cardiovascular problems.
Many heart health professionals such as Frank Pollaro agree that a balanced diet is ideal. The antioxidants and polyphenols in dark chocolate are also found in other sources. Green tea is a notable source of both and, when consumed plain, has no obesity risk. Dieticians also note that bright fruits such as red apples have high polyphenol content.
Polyphenols are natural antioxidants that contribute to heart health by keeping blood vessels dilated. This reduces strain on the heart by facilitating blood flow. A quicker, easier blood flow reduces blood pressure.
Chris Reid, one of the researchers involved in the study, advocates balance. He agrees with cardiologist Frank Pollaro; both suggest a “sensible” diet in addition to exercise. Reid says the study is not suggesting that dark chocolate be a patient’s only preventative action.
Cardiovascular issues contribute to 30 percent of deaths globally. Such problems are the leading cause of death in the world. Finding an appealing dietary treatment like “chocolate therapy” that really works is a major goal. Any findings like that could change the way we look at heart health.
Frank Pollaro is a prominent medical professional in the field of cardiology. He specializes in diagnosing problems through non-invasive cardiology. Pollaro has thirteen years’ experience in treating heart-related health issues.