Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Possible Health Benefits of Chocolate

Mayans in Guatemala and Aztecs in Mexico served a cocoa drink and used cocoa nuts as currency. The drink was considered to be a royal drink. I learned this at the Natural Museum of History in their cocoa exhibit in 2005. Europeans added sugar and milk to cocoa nut products. I love dark chocolate, but I will take it in almost any way. It is such a joy to post this on Christmas. Christmas and chocolate - hmmmmm.

Health benefits of chocolate include: Phytochemicals called flavonoids that are antioxidants, which block arterial damage caused by free radicals and inhibit platelet aggregation, which could cause a heart attack or stroke. Some studies that that cocoa flavonoids relax the blood vessels, which inhibit an enzyme that causes inflammation. A recent study by Holland's National Institute of Public Health and Environment found that chocolate contains four times the antioxidants of green tea.

Dark chocolate with a high concentration of cocoa powder is best. Check to see if your chocolate source has a high amount of saturated fat that would outweigh antioxidant levels. As always, balance is key. You can have some milk chocolate even if your overall daily fat, at least for several days in a row, is not high, and you keep exercising!

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web site http://www.louizapatsis.com.

No comments: