Barbara Vanic’s Answer on Chocolate

Recently, there has been a lot of research done on chocolate’s effects on the cardiovascular system. I have to mention now that almost everything is good for something and most things are bad in excess. With that in mind, chocolate is a perfect example of a substance that needs to be taken in moderation. Since Barbara wanted to know why chocolate is good for your health, I’ll quickly answer that in a few paragraphs.

The reason why most of these “alternative products” are good for you is because of their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are great at getting rid of toxins that cause oxidative stress on your system (which could lead to anything from artherosclerotic plaque formation to cancer). Being a powerful antioxidant, chocolate (as well as fruits, vegetables and teas duh!) has been linked to decrease chances of lung cancer by having a substance called plant-derived flavanol. Flavanol (not to be confused with flavOnol) lowers the risk of cardiac disease by increasing nitric oxide levels (NO), which lowers blood pressure.

Chocolate, or more specifically cocoa extract, is also linked to lowering ACE function in additionto increasing NO in your system. If you’ve ever had a heart attack, you would know that ACE inhibitors and NO sublingual pills are your best friends. ACE inhibitors and NO are used to lower blood pressure, a factor that is detrimental for the cardiovascular system. Since cocoa extract, the bitter part of BITTER chocolate (that some manufacturers remove to get rid of the bitter), mimics the effects of these drugs, it is easy to conclude the health benefits of chocolate.

However, chocolate has a high amount of low-density lipoproteins (the bad one). This is why eating normal milk chocolate is not very healthy for you. It’s better to stick to the darker chocolate above 72%, which is available for an affordable price in LIDL.

I, myself, love chocolate and if I start eating it, I can’t stop. I would love to be a kuna (not the Croatian animal or currency, but the people from Panama), because they drink cocoa from the early age of weening to death (at really old ages). As a reminder though, there are other methods in which you can lower your blood pressure. I would suggest exercising, quitting smoking, drink a glass of wine, a square of chocolate, eat healthy if you have the money, buy yourself a bike and use it to get to work or college, walk 40 minutes a day, and a lot of other great advice that could get you healthy that most people don’t comply to. I’m going off topic so I’m going to stop here.

Now that's some SWEET chocolate!

Now that’s some SWEET chocolate! (Kuna Woman)
From BBC news image

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