Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cocoa: A Surprising Superfood from Yahoo News

Amazing but true: Eating chocolate could actually save your life, by dramatically reducing risk for heart attacks and stroke, new research shows. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder actually contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than do blueberries, cranberries, acai, and other “superfruits,” according to a peer-reviewed study published in Chemistry Central Journal.

People who eat the most chocolate are 37 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD)—the leading killer of Americans—and 29 percent less likely to suffer a stroke, compared to those who eat the least, according to an analysis of seven earlier studies involving 114,009 participants. One of the most surprising findings was that indulging in the sweet treat also trims diabetes risk by 31 percent, an international team of researchers reported in British Medical Journal.

Used as currency by ancient Aztecs and dubbed “food of the gods” by 18th century naturalist Carl Linneaus, the beans of the tropical cacao tree contain powerful disease-fighting compounds called flavonols--antioxidants also found in tea, wine, fruits and vegetables. To find out about cocoa’s cardiometabolic benefits, I talked to Amy Doneen, MSN, ARNP, medical director of the Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center in Spokane, Washington.

For the full article please go here.

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