A recent analysis of more than 20 studies conducted by Harvard Medical School has revealed that cocoa may be even more of a “super food” than was previously thought. Researchers examined the information of more than 2500 participants from different studies and found connections between cocoa consumption and several cardiovascular health benefits.
In the information gathered cocoa was linked to reduced blood pressure, increased in HDL cholesterol, decreased in LDL cholesterol and improvements in the health of blood vessels. In addition to the many direct improvements to cardiovascular health researchers also linked cocoa consumption to decreases in many of the risk factors for diabetes as well.
The majority of the studies focused solely on dark chocolate with no sugar added. Further research will need to be conducted in order to determine if other varieties of chocolate may have similar heart health benefits and exactly what doses of cocoa may yield the most benefits.
While cocoa may someday prove to be the most delicious way to improve cardiovascular health, it certainly isn’t the only way. Consult your health care provider for easy to implement lifestyle changes that can improve your cardiovascular health and lower your risk for heart disease. Your health care provider may suggest age appropriate activities to increase your daily activity level, changes to your diet and possibly the addition of nutritional supplements for improving heart health.