Can you remember what it felt like when your mom or dad dragged you along with them to go food shopping?
For a grammar school aged child… this was the equivalent of pulling off fingernails.
“Because I told you so, Mister!” was a popular reply from mothers the world over.
We would grudgingly put our gloves or skates on the porch and clamber into the family car and of we went to our own personal hell.
Except…however…the glorious wonder that was the candy aisle.
9 times out of 10… we were told, “No…it’ll spoil your dinner.”
But every once in a while…you’d get that little smile, “Go ahead, honey…you can get one”
Ahhh… music to our ears.
You’d spend a few minutes picking out the right one…change your mind…and bring it up to the counter where your mom would smile to at the cashier and say,
You’d cradle that chocolate covered gift out to the car as carefully as a newborn child while mom struggled with the groceries.
Some of us ripped into them… while others carefully unwrapped it as to not rip the wrapper.
And that first bite… heaven.
And though it may have ruined your appetite… in your child mind… all was right with the world.
As we’ve grown older, science and common sense has told us that chocolate was bad for you… bad for your skin, bad for your teeth, and bad for your waistline… but we may have been snowed.
A few years ago, we were bombarded with the fact that chocolate… and more specifically dark chocolate had excellent antioxidant properties… creating a buzz around the beloved candy bars of our youth.
But that’s old news…
According to Reuters, new research has emerged conducted by the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research center has discovered a link between dark chocolate and healthy hearts.
The study concludes that:
Dark Chocolate (75g) as well as natural cocoa (22g) lowered blood pressure and improved endothelial function in 45 participants 2 hours after consumption.
Blood pressure we’ve heard about before…but endothelial function?
Well, endothelium are the cells that “coat” the entire circulatory system from the blood pump right down to the tiniest of capillaries.
They’re job is to “smooth the road”… they reduce the turbulence allowing your blood to pump further… and the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to push blood around the body.
Think of them as Teflon…except they’re coating your veins and capillaries… instead of a frying pan.
Which means good news for the sweet tooths of the world!
But you don’t have to take my word for it…
“Our study demonstrated impressive enhancement of endothelial function following the acute consumption of dark chocolate and cocoa,” said David L. Katz, MD, MPH, principal investigator of the study and director of the Prevention Research Center. “The results are exciting because they show that dark chocolate, a highly-popular treat long associated with pleasure, has health promoting properties as well.”
Now this news doesn’t give you chocoholics out there to go crazy… because there is still plenty of sugar in these little cocoa dreams.
But a modest amount incorporated into a healthy lifestyle can almost be as beneficial for your heart as exercise.
As a confessed chocoholic, I’ve been hoping for this kind of news since I was diagnosed with high blood pressure 4 years ago…
As a matter of fact… I’ll be stopping at the grocery store on my way home this evening.
And not am I getting some to improve my health… but I get to feel like a kid again…
Hurray for chocolate!