Health Benefits of Chocolate

Our customers are saavy consumers and they want to learn everything about chocolate. Our customers not only want the pleasure of tasting and eating exceptionally delicious bars, barks, and chocolate truffles that we serve up here at The Chocolate Chisel, but they crave all the facts about chocolate too. Let us help you become a chocolate expert! Chocolate, no longer a guilty pleasure, but a healthy one! Everyone can enjoy chocolate on a daily basis! Here are some of the latest headlines we found searching google with the key words, “Health Benefits of Chocolate.” Try it yourself! You’ll find a wealth of information online. Below are amazing exerpts from online we wanted to share with you.

Sterol Chocolate Reduces Cholesterol Levels

Consuming chocolate containing plant sterols and cocoa flavanols can lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition. Plant sterols, natural compounds found in certain vegetable oils, cereals, fruits and vegetables, were previously shown to be safe and effective in lowering cholesterol levels, and this study adds to that body of research, reported Food Production Daily.

Effects: Dark Chocolate: A Fix for Smokers’ Plumbing?

New York Times Vital Signs December 27, 2005, By Nicholas Bakalar

Dark chocolate, but not white chocolate, may improve the ability of smokers’ blood vessels to expand and contract in response to the body’s needs, Swiss researchers have found. The scientists divided 25 smokers into two groups. One group ate about two ounces of dark chocolate containing 74 percent cocoa, and the other consumed two ounces of white chocolate, which contains no cocoa. The investigators calculated platelet activity and the flexibility of the blood vessels, two measures of healthy function, in an artery in the upper arm of each subject.

‘Dark Chocolate may help alleviate the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrom,’ British study says.

The study’s lead author says polyphenols in dark chocolate are responsible for a reduction of symptoms of the condition, which is characterized by muscle fatigue after physical exertion.

Chocolate May Help Aging Blood Vessels

August 4, 2006 (WebMD)

Getting your chocolate fix may actually help fix aging blood vessels, according to a new study.

Researchers found adults who drank a specially processed cocoa beverage rich in flavonols for four to six days improved their blood vessel function, and older adults appeared to benefit the most. “Aging is typically associated with deterioration in vessel health, specifically related to function of the critical inner lining, or endothelium,” says researcher Naomi Fisher, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, in a news release. “Our findings demonstrate that consumption of this flavonol-rich cocoa can improve the function of blood vessels in a healthy elderly population.” Flavonols are a class of antioxidants found in plant-based foods and beverages — such as cocoa, wine, and tea — that have been increasingly linked to heart benefits.

Is Chocolated Healthier Than Green Tea?

“Chocolate contains up to four times the anti-oxidants found in tea.” Sound too good to be true? In fact, that was the conclusion of a recent study by Holland’s National Institute of Public Health and Environment. Researchers found that chocolate – specifically dark chocolate – contains 53.5 mg of catechins per 100 grams. (Catechins are the powerful anti-oxidants that help prevent against cancer and heart disease). By contrast, 100 ml of black tea contains a mere 13.9 mg of catechins. Eating chocolate to stay healthy? Well, why not? Scientists have established that there are important health benefits to be gained from drinking red wine, so why not chocolate as well?…. A cup of green tea with a chocolate biscuit or a piece of dark chocolate sounds like a great way to begin the day!

Chocolate in Pregnancy Keeps Baby Happy

Expectant mothers can take heart this Easter. Tucking into chocolate eggs is good for the baby, according to a study of over 300 women – especially if you are feeling a bit on edge. Katri Raikkonen at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and her colleagues asked pregnant women to rate their stress levels and chocolate consumption. After the babies were born, they looked for an association between the amount of chocolate their mothers had eaten and the babies’ behavior. Six months after birth, the researchers asked mothers to rate their infants’ behavior in various categories, including fear, soothability, smiling and laughter. The babies born to women who had been eating chocolate daily during pregnancy were more active and “positively reactive” – a measure that encompasses traits such as smiling and laughter.

BBC News:  Chocolate ‘helps blood vessels’

Eating dark chocolate helps blood vessels function more effectively, researchers have claimed. Writing in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, University of California researchers found a chemical in chocolate helped vessels expand. Chocolate’s Secret Power. Just 1 oz of dark chocolate packs a big antioxidant wallop. You’ve read it before: Dark chocolate, the richer in cocoa the better, is not only a to-die-for treat, it’s actually good for you. And just 1 oz of a very special chocolate packs more than twice the healthy antioxidant punch of red wine or other dark chocolates. “Cocoa is rich in antioxidant flavonoids called flavanols, which include procyanidins, epicatechins, and catechins,” explains Harold Schmitz, PhD, director of science at Mars, Inc. Studies have shown that people with high blood levels of flavonoids have lower risk of heart disease, lung cancer, prostate cancer, asthma, and type 2 diabetes….Hot cocoa tops red wine and tea in antioxidants; may be healthier choice.

There’s Sweet News About Hot Cocoa:  Researchers at Cornell University

Researchers at Cornell University have shown that the popular winter beverage contains more antioxidants per cup than a similar serving of red wine or tea and may be a healthier choice. The study adds to growing evidence of the health benefits of cocoa and points to a tasty alternative in the quest to maintain a diet rich in healthy antioxidants, chemicals that have been shown to fight cancer, heart disease and aging, the researchers say.

Study Sweet for Chocolate Lovers

Previous research has hinted that chocolate may be healthy, and now a new UCSF-led study will tickle the hearts of chocolate lovers. School of Nursing researchers on Wednesday (November 20) reported a potential link between cocoa flavanols contained in certain chocolates and improved blood vessel function, which is believed to be an important indicator of cardiovascular health….

Coughing?  Pop a Chocolate

London — An ingredient in chocolate may actually be a more effective cough medicine than traditional remedies, New Scientist reports.

Newly Released:  University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Dark Chocolate Benefits

A new study from Denmark found that those who eat dark chocolate consume 15 percent fewer calories at their next meal and are less interested in fatty, salty, and sugary foods. And research shows that dark chocolate can improve heart health, lower blood pressure, reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, decrease the risk of blood clots, and increase blood flow to the brain.

Dark chocolate boosts serotonin and endorphin levels, which are associated with improved mood and greater concentration; it’s rich in B vitamins and magnesium, which are noted cognitive boosters; it contains small amounts of caffeine, which helps with short-term concentration; and it contains theobromine, a stimulant that delivers a different kind of buzz, sans the jitters.

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