Chocolate: The key to your heart?
Looks like giving chocolate to your loved one for Valentine’s Day isn’t just a sweet thing to do—it could also help their heart. An August 2011 review published in the British Medical Journal found that people who consumed the highest levels of chocolate (generally more than once a week) had a substantially reduced cardiovascular risk than those who ate chocolate rarely. The systematic review covered seven studies that recorded varying levels of chocolate consumption and the associated health effects.
“Recent studies (both experimental and observational) have suggested that chocolate consumption has a positive influence on human health…,” the report states. “These beneficial effects have been confirmed in recent reviews and meta-analyses, supporting the positive role of cacao and cocoa products on cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, atherosclerosis, and insulin resistance.”
“Five of the seven studies reported a beneficial association between higher levels of chocolate consumption and the risk of cardiometabolic disorders. The highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease…and a 29% reduction in stroke compared with the lowest levels.”
Experts agree that the best way to benefit from chocolate’s polyphenols is to lean toward darker chocolate, minus the added dairy and sugar. Ones to try: Pharmaca’s two Dark Chocolate Bars, made from organic, Fair Trade chocolate in 78% and 70% cocoa contents.
Stop in and check out the rest of Pharmaca’s heart-smart chocolate selection today!