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The relationship between Chocolate and Heart Health.

Chocolate encapsulates a decent number of nutritive components to deal with heart problems. The basic parameter for a chocolate to be healthy is the amount of cocoa. More amount of cocoa, darker the chocolate will be. More amount of cocoa in the chocolate accounts for a greater number of healthy components in chocolate.

INTRODUCTION

Have you ever heard of any person saying no to chocolates? No, right? Well, who doesn’t love chocolates, it’s that inevitable part of our diet that can’t be replaced by anything else. No matter which age group you belong to, getting chocolates, is a separate kind of joy one acquires. And moreover, there might be a relationship between chocolate and heart health.

How will you feel when one of your favourite snacks is found to be beneficial for your health? Chocolate is one such snack, according to surveys, 9 out of 10 people prefer to have this and 50% population can’t live without having it every day. 

The most basic ingredients in it are sugar, cocoa, milk. Chocolate categories under four basic types of I.e milk, dark, white, and ruby chocolate. 

If there is a heart patient in your family, so you must have heard that dark chocolate is your friend and now we even have a proof for the link between chocolate and heart diseases, that has been recently proved by a study, mentioning the relationship between consumption of chocolate and the low possibility of a heart attack.

COMPARISION BETWEEN THE TYPES OF CHOCOLATES

Dark chocolate contains about 50-99% cocoa content, while the cocoa contents in the milk chocolate range between 35-45%. The major constituents of milk chocolate are milk, sugar and cocoa powder.

The name White chocolate is actually a misnomer. White chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids, instead, it contains about 20% cocoa butter.

THE STUDY

Earlier it was just an assumption that there is some kind of relationship between chocolate and heart health, but this new study by Dr Chayakrit proves this fact. This new study is followed from the previous studies where scientists have proven the benefits of chocolate for maintaining blood pressure and lining of Blood vessels. Study author, Dr Chayakrit says ” they conduct this study to find out that chocolate has an effect on the coronary artery (the blood vessel that supplies heart) and it reveals that chocolate works well for these arteries”.

This is an integrated result of six studies,  conducted over 336,289 individuals. They were asked to jot down their chocolate consumption. 14,043 people found sickened with coronary artery disease and 4667 had a heart attack amidst the follow-up of 9 years.

This summarises that the consumption of a bar of chocolate at least once in a week reduces an 8% stake of having a coronary artery disease.

This is released in the European Journal of preventive cardiology.

WHAT MAKES IT HEALTHY

The basic parameter for a chocolate to be healthy is the amount of cocoa. More amount of cocoa, darker the chocolate will be. More amount of cocoa in the chocolate accounts for a greater number of healthy components in chocolate.

Chocolate encapsulates a decent number of nutritive components to deal with heart problems, some of them are mentioned below:

Flavonoids:- Flavonoids are polyphenolic antioxidants, generally present in fruits and vegetables. Dark chocolate is usually rich in flavonoids. they keep the level of platelet aggregation in check, enhance endothelial processes, seem to deduct myocardial function in an animal study once. Particularly the subtype, Flavonols is related to lowering the risk of cardiac diseases.
Ex:- epicatechin, catechin, and procyanidins

Methylxanthines:- These are derived from Xanthines.  Xanthine is naturally produced by both plants and animal. Methylxanthines help in the betterment of cardiovascular functions. Theobromine (3,7-dimethylxanthine) and caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine) are the two types of methylxanthines found in dark chocolate.

Polyphenols:- Cocoa is rich in polyphenols. dark chocolate contains 1,664 milligrams (mg) of polyphenols per 100 grams (g). Polyphenols help in nitric oxide synthesis.

Stearic acid:–  Stearic acid makes up to 1/3rd of the total fat content of chocolate. Though it’s a saturated fatty acid, yet it does not raise the cholesterol level in the body. It also lessens mean platelet volume.

ADDITIONAL HEALTH BENEFITS 

 1) Chocolates contain a good number of antioxidants, which leads to a  better quality of skin and health.

 2) Helps to attain good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein.

 3) Consumption of Hot chocolate may increase blood flow to the brain.

 4) Consumption of chocolate once a week might help in better cognitive functioning.

5) Consuming about 30g of chocolate during pregnancy might help in fetal growth and development.

6) Dark chocolate might be helpful in boosting oxygen availability during training. It is recommended to eat dark chocolate in pre-workout meals. 

CONCLUSION

Although we have proved the association between chocolate and heart health, still we have to go deep to find out what kind of chocolate is best to perform this function and what proportion of that should be consumed to save ourselves from going on its bad sides. People suffering from obesity should consume it in moderate range to prevent any further problems, says Dr Chayakrit.

Read the original study on Association between chocolate consumption and risk of coronary artery disease

Read more on Ruby chocolate, the Chocolate of Millennials


Co-author: Prajwal Tyagi


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