Chocolate Reduces the Risk of Stroke

Nutritionists have long been singing chocolate’s praises as an antioxidant rich food, and it has even been observed its many positive effects on the circulatory system. Other studies have shown it to have anticancer and brain stimulating properties, as well. Now don’t get too excited – this isn’t a free pass to eat as much chocolate as you can humanly manage. As with any high-energy food, excessive consumption increases the risk of obesity and care should be taken to choose high quality, preferably pure and organic sources of chocolate low in artificial ingredients and high in raw cocoa (where all the healthy chemical compounds come from). Fortunately, all it takes is a modest serving of dark chocolate, consumed once a week, to provide your body with all of its stroke preventing benefits.
Luckily, most grocerie stores and websites offer high cocoa (70-85% cocoa content) bars. You should avoid milk chocolate and high-sugar chocolate bars as their antioxidant levels will be too low and the high sugar content will offset any benefits provided by the potent antioxidants. High-antioxidant cocoa products are even coming in supplement form in order to give you a concentrated dose of these antioxidant compounds. If you prefer, you can also purchase concentrated cocoa in powder form and add it to milk or a protein shake for a quick and easy shot of antioxidants, remember to pay close attention to the sugar content.
There are two main concerns with chocolate. First is the impact on weight. Many weight loss blogs and weight loss podcasts suggest that all chocolate is bad, however, I have found that there is no evidence to support this suggestion. In fact, the dark, high-cocoa chocolate can be consumed in small quantities to take care of that nagging sweet-tooth. Second is the belief that chocolate can negatively impact the bones. Although consuming the “fake chocolate” products that are high in sugar and low in antioxidants could increase the risk of bone loss, the small quantities of “real”, high-cocoa chocolate is completely safe for people with bone loss. Who knows, the antioxidants in cocoa may actually prove to be a component of a natural program for osteoporosis .

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