Chocolate Health Benefits...and Heart Disease

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chocolate candy thoughts to ponder

Chocolate health benefits were mistakenly found and as a chocoholic, I am glad this happened.

I fully admit my addiction --"My names is Terri and I am a Chocoholic."

I crave chocolate, the catch is I like nuts with it, which are really good for me too. I am not talking peanuts, I am talking almonds, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts and the like.

Thank goodness to Ferrero Rocher for those little gold packages of chocolate truffles with hazelnuts or even their Nutella. (by the way, a long time friend of mine is 4th cousins to the Ferrero family). Actually, my other favorite is Trader Joe's Pound Plus Bittersweet with Almonds Bar. Only problem is that I want to eat it all at one time.

Okay, I will get back on topic here, the chocolate health benefits.

The John Hopkins Study

Fortunately for you and I, some fellow Chocolate Lovers gave us and science a huge gift, because they were unable to give up their chocolate habit, the folks at John Hopkins University found some enlightening information.

These folks at the JHU School of Medicine were studying blood platelets and blood clots.

The people participating in the study, some of whom were fond of eating this brown tasty treat, were given a list of foods to avoid for the duration of the study – of course, guess what was on the list..... chocolate. As you may have guessed some of the study participants ignored the list and satisfied their craving for chocolate.

Fortunately for the chocoholics like you and I, their fall from grace led researchers to discover some chocolate health benefits.

Chocolate Health Benefits - The Result

The biochemical analysis allowed the researchers to understand why just a few yummy squares of chocolate a day can reduce the risk of heart attack death in some men and women by almost 50%.

If was found that chocolate decreases the tendency of platelets to clot in narrow blood vessels.

We were able to learn from the chocoholics in the study that a chemical in cocoa beans has a biochemical effect similar to what people commonly take to reduce platelet clumping - aspirin. As you may know this clumping can be cause death. This happens when a clot forms and the blood vessel becomes blocked, leading to a heart attack. (Diane Becker, M.P.H., Sc.D., a professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health.)

The folks at John Hopkins, though, do not want us to think of this as a prescription to go crazy with large amounts of chocolate because it also contains large amounts of sugar, butter and cream.

The good news is that as little as 2 tablespoons a day of dark chocolate - the purest form made from the dried extract of roasted cocoa beans - may be just what the doctor ordered.

Are you fond of eating chocolate? Definitely! Take your pick!

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