Okay, it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it! Reuters is reporting that researchers in the United Kingdom “will explore whether compounds called flavonoids found in chocolate and other foods can reduce the risk of heart disease for menopausal women with type 2 diabetes. . .”
In order to conduct the studies, they need volunteers. I suspect they may find themselves with a waiting list of volunteers.
Actually, not eating the chocolate is one of the hardest things about my diet/lifestyle change. I love chocolate. Actually, who doesn’t love chocolate (although come to think of it, my daughter doesn’t like chocolate!).
So what can you do to make the chocolate count?
Well, according to some, dark chocolate can help lower high blood pressure.
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids which are anti-oxidants and can protect against free radicals which can cause heart disease. These flavonoids are present in red wine, tea, all kinds of berries, nuts and other fruits and vegetables. The flavonoids in chocolate are called flavonols and they help build nitric oxide in your body.
What does nitric oxide do? Some studies suggest that this compound helps keep blood flowing and prevents platelets from sticking together to cause clots, leading to a healthier heart.
A CNN report indicated that chocolate can also improve your skin, boost memory and attention span by increasing blood flow to the brain! Not to mention that dark chocolate has been linked to reducing bad cholesterol!
So, have a bit of chocolate (the darker the better), but remember that chocolate has lots of fat and usually sugar so moderation is key. I found some organic sugar free dark chocolate that only had about 200 calories per serving and was pretty tasty. The serving size on that bar was 9 squares of chocolate which was more than I needed for the typical craving, so I was able to keep calorie/fat down by eating less of it each time.
The Hershey’s Sugar Free chocolates are pretty good as well and according to their nutrition facts, a 16 gram bar has 80 calories (35 from fat).
Also try Almond M&Ms, which have 200 calories per serving (100 fat calories however). The Almond M&M’s have the added benefit of the almonds which are also high in antioxidants.
Want to share your love of chocolate? Check out Virtual Chocolate, on online website totally dedicated to what else — chocolate!
Hope this Tuesday Tip helps with your chocolate cravings!