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Archive for February, 2015

Men Need Dark Chocolate Too (Part 1)

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

March of last year I posted the “Benefits and Rules for Chocolate”.  However more benefits are showing up in studies.  In fact Dark Chocolate has so many benefits it now being advocated as a health food.  The major reason is that the cocoa bean is rich in flavonoids which is an antioxidant.  More about this later.  Chocolate also contains high amounts of fiber, magnesium, iron, copper and manganese.  It also contains: potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.  New studies on dark chocolate is showing some interesting results with men.

Stress Relief:  A recent study showed a significant difference in men who ate dark chocolate once a day.  The study showed that males who consumed 72% chocolate containing flavonoids had lower levels of cortisol and epinephrine after stress.  The chocolate had no effect on the brain response but, the brain’s signals to stress was less.  With less levels of cortisol and epinephrine in the body, there was less negative stimulation of the heart and blood vessels.  This means less stress on the heart and surrounding organs.  This begs the question – Is it because we women  like our chocolate that we have less heart attacks?  So ladies feed you husbands and kids dark chocolate for work and school in the morning.  (see my March 2014 blog for why morning is best).

Lowers Cholesterol:  Flavonoids found in chocolate helps lower cholesterol absorption in our body.  Flavonoids lowers the levels of LDL (Low-density Lipoprotein) while raising HDL (High-density Lipoprotein).  While chocolate does contain fats, all of the fats except one will not raise the LDL Cholesterol.  The first fat is oleic acid.  Like olive oil, this fat is a healthy monounsaturated fat.  Stearic acid is a saturated fat, but it does not raise the LDL cholesterol.  Palmitic acid is the one fat in chocolate that will raise the LDL cholesterol, so eat chocolate in small amounts daily. Make sure your dark chocolate does not have anything (like caramel or marshmallows) inside the chocolate.  You will not be getting the health benefits if you do.

To be continued….