Chocolate or Cocoa Linked to Lower Blood Pressure

by: Junji Takano

First of all, you know that cocoa contain flavanols, which are thought to increase nitric oxide in the blood and improve the function of blood vessels.

It is said that flavanols are acting as phytoestrogens that are thought of by many as useful in treating cancer.

Flavanols are polyphenolic compounds produced almost only by the members of the Leguminosae family (bean-family). They are long known for their estrogen-like effect on mammals. Views on flavanols differ. Supporters tout studies which provide evidence of significant cholesterol-reducing effects, and protection against certain types of cancers, as well as other benefits. They are also very strong antioxidants. Critics claim that flavanols included in food increase the incidence of epithelial hyperplasia, which precedes cancerous tumors, and that they cause goiter and hyperthyroidism.

Chocolate is made from cacao (cocoa) fruits. Statistic data show that Republic of Panama, especially native of Panamanian seldom suffers from heart-oriented problem. Further studies indicate that chocolate, cocoa drinks, and other candies or drinks extracted from cacao have something to do with heart ailment.

It means that chocolate or cocoa demonstrate the health benefits lowering blood pressure and reduced risk of sudden death of heart failure. Of course, it is too early to conclude that chocolate can lead to better heart or health itself. It is also true that most Panamanian natives are healthier than other nonnatives. Why? Is it not because natives have habit of eating more cocoa or cocoa beer? Of course, too much eating and drinking of cocoa products increase fat and the risk of heart disease, and high blood pressure might increase instead.

Most scientists all over the world confirm their findings that products of cocoa beans are linked on lowering blood pressure. Researchers examined the eating habits of several healthy men who were not taking medicine for high blood pressure. People who ate the products made from cocoa beans—including cocoa drinks, chocolate bars and chocolate breads had lower blood pressure and showed great number of lowering the risk of death.

Chocolate or Cocoa can lower blood pressure?

Don't we notice that people eating the most cocoa products were not heavier or bigger eaters than those who ate less cocoa?

Although there are many antagonists here and there, they may probably never tried chocolate products. There are several chocolate factories in Japan as well as in US, and they claim that chocolate products are good for health. And of course these chocolate companies have several specialists to analyze their products.

In fact, Mars Inc., maker of Milky Way, Snickers and M&M's candies, next month plans to launch nationwide a new line of products made with a dark chocolate the company claims has health benefits. Called CocoaVia, the products are made with a dark chocolate high in flavanols; an antioxidant found in cocoa beans that are thought to have a blood-thinning effect similar to aspirin and may even lower blood pressure. The snacks also are enriched with vitamins and injected with cholesterol-lowering plant sterols from soy.

Actually, recent research has not 100% established a link between flavanols and reduced risk of cancer or heart disease. Apart from them, we know that obesity is already a serious health problem. It is just because they eat too much without exercise.

Most world scientists, especially those of the chocolate companies concluded that chocolate contains chemicals, including flavanols that have the potential to reduce heart disease. But researchers still don't know enough about flavanols to make dietary recommendations.

Other major chocolate companies also have started promoting the flavanol content of their dark chocolates, such as Hershey's Extra Dark, introduced last fall with highlights on its label touting its 60% cocoa content and high level of flavanol.

With the growing number of baby boomers, the industry has been focusing on products that appeal to them, such as gourmet chocolates, organic chocolates and "functional" chocolates, such as CocoaVia, that may provide health benefits.

Dark chocolate can fit into a healthy diet. The fat in chocolate is a type that does not raise cholesterol levels, but it can add an unwanted pound if a person overindulges.

Our records show that the Cuna Indians of Panama, who drink flavanoid-rich cocoa beverages, have a lower risk of dying of heart attacks and a lower risk of dying of cancer than average Panamanians.

Let us forget antagonists against chocolate, let us drink and eat cocoa products. It will lower your hypertension and you will love to stay healthier.

Fruits and vegetables are still the best source of the antioxidants found in dark chocolate and they also contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and plant chemicals not found in chocolate, but chocolate taste better. :)

I ate chocolate a lot and my family loves it, too. But we do not forget to work and exercise to burn overfed energies.

About the Author:

Junji Takano, the authorJunji Takano is a Japanese health researcher involved in investigating the cause of many dreadful diseases. In 1968, he invented PYRO-ENERGEN, the first and only electrostatic therapy machine that effectively eradicates viral diseases, cancer, and diseases of unknown cause.
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