Bioactive compounds in cocoa have been found to beheart healthy as part of a recent study. Researchers state that it is because of presence of flavanols and procyanidins in cocoa are helpful in improving blood pressure, cholesterol levels and flexibility of blood vessels. Bioactive compounds are dietary compounds which are also present in grapes, apples, berries, legumes and some cereals. The study, which mentions that cocoa is great for heart health, has been published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN).
There have been numerous studies done previously, which show that consumption of flavanols and procyanidins can be good for heart health. However, the extent to which these two compounds can be beneficial for heart health was not stated. Also it was not clear they action synergistically together or not.
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With growing age, stiffness in arteries is more likely to increase, as is blood pressure and cholesterol. All of these conditions are independently responsible for increasing risks of cardiovascular disease and death. Procyanidins and flavanols can help people in maintaining their heart health.
Important findings of the study, reports ANI, say that healthy adults experienced better functioning of blood vessels along with healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels on consuming flavanols and procyanidins in cocoa.
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Health benefits of cocoa to watch out for:
1. Cocoa can improve blood flow. Eating up to one serving of chocolate in a day can reduce risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
2. Cocoa can be good for brain function. Flavanols in cocoa can stimulate neuron production, improve blood flow and supply in brain tissue. Including cocoa in your diet can prevent age-related degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
3. Cocoa can be helpful in improving mood and reducing symptoms of depression. It can induce calmness and reduce stress levels significantly. Cocoa can be helpful in improving content and overall psychological well-being of a person.
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4. People with type 2 diabetes can benefit from including cocoa in their diet as it helps in stabilising blood sugar levels. However, this is possible only when consumption is done in limited amounts.
5. It might sound surprising but cocoa may help in maintaining a healthy weight. It regulates use of energy, reduces appetite and even inflammation. Cocoa can induce a feeling of fullness and may thus help in losing weight at a faster pace.
6. People with asthma can benefit from including cocoa in their diet. Theobromine and theophylline are anti-asthmatic compounds in cocoa. It may be helpful in reducing cough and constriction of airways and tissue thickness.
7. Cocoa can be good for oral health as it can help in fighting bacteria which causes cavities. As it helps in improving blood circulation, cocoa is good for skin health and hydration.
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