Do you want to reduce your blood pressure??? Here it is-cocoa
Current research suggests that cocoa can help reduce heart diseases, blood pressure and may even prevent the formation of blood clots
Cocoa :-it is used to make chocolates – it can protect you from heart diseases, reduces blood pressure and may even prevent the formation of blood clots. The main ingredient which is used in chocolates is the cacoa bean, which is known for its good source of antioxidant flavonoids that help to reduce free radical mediated oxidative stress, which is responsible for many disease conditions such as cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus and cancer. Cocoa contains antioxidant flavonoids such as epicatechin, catechin and procyanidin,the last one is responsible for much of its antioxidants property in cocoa. The higher the amount of flavonoids, the higher will be its antioxidant capacity.
But why do we emphasis on dark chocolates?
Normally the milk chocolates that we see contains cocoa, sugar, milk solids and emulsifiers. Dark chocolates contain cocoa(in greater proportion), sugar and emulsifiers, but does not contain milk solids substances. They are slightly bitter and have a more pronounced chocolate taste which we mostly don’t like. Dark chocolates contain a higher proportion of antioxidant flavonoids than milk chocolate because they have greater amounts of cocoa, up to 80 per cent or more of cocoa. Forty grams of milk chocolate provides only 394 mg of cocoa flavonoids while dark chocolate provides 951 mg.
Health benefits of cocoa:-
- Helps lower blood pressure: Flavanoids in dark chocolates have been known to stimulate the production of nitric oxide, a compound that dilates and purify blood vessels and maintains a healthy blood pressure. This effect is good among elder citizen in whom the nitric oxide synthesis by the cells that line the blood vessels is low.
- Cardiovascular benefits: A review in the British Medical Journal suggests that dark chocolates could reduce the incidence of cardio-metabolic events such as heart disease and stroke by a whopping one-third. Like low-dose aspirin,flavonoids in cocoa can restrict the formation of blood clots and promote a healthy blood flow.The magnesium in cocoa is a cardio-protective mineral. Regular intake of foods that contain cocoa is associated with a lower risk of deaths due to cardiac and blood vessel abnormalities .
- Lipid modifying effects: Short-term consumption of cocoa significantly reduces blood cholesterol, but this depends on the dose we take. Short term studies have also shown that dark chocolates can also lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels and increase the HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).
- Protecting nerve tissue:Cocoa flavonoids have the potential to protect neurons against damage by neurotoxins ,suppress neuro-inflamation(that can cause damage to the nerve cells) and promote memory,learning,intelligence and cognitive function.Consumption of cocoa flavonoids causes acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance during sustained mental effort.The effects are possibly derived by a more efficient flow of blood to the brain and the retina of eye.
- Other effects: Bioactive compounds in cocoa also have an anti-proliferative, anti-mutagenic, and chemo-protective effects. This lends support to the fact that ingestion of cocoa may help to protect against cancer. These compounds have an anti-cariogenic effect. This means that they may also protect you against dental decay.