April 16, 2010

Reduce your heart attack risk by 33% with this tasty treat

Second Opinion readers know that when it comes to my diet, I'm a fanatic. Well, almost. Aside from eating a diet of nearly 100% living organic foods, I have a weakness. It's dark chocolate. I have a bite nearly every evening after dinner. As indulgences go, this is not too bad. You see, dark chocolate has some profound health benefits due to being incredibly rich in powerful phytochemicals called polyphenols. Now a new study says dark chocolate can protect your heart.

The recent study found that 6. 7 grams of dark chocolate per day, a bit less than half a bar a week, can significantly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. In particular, it can significantly reduce the risk factor C-reactive protein. CRP is a marker for inflammation. The researchers found this amount reduces CRP by 17%. That's enough to reduce your risk of heart disease between 25-33%.

All of us can use a treat once in a while. It's really nice when the treat is actually on the healthy side. Now remember, it has to be dark chocolate. I find the best is about 70% cacao, since a higher percentage becomes too bitter. I've treated myself to dark chocolate for the last four years. During this time, my blood pressure has actually fallen, considerably. (Systolic was 110, now it's below 90). I don't credit just the dark chocolate. I believe it's the diet, too. However, I'm pleased that my one indulgence hasn't negated the benefit of my Living Foods Diet. If anything, perhaps it has added to it.

Yours for better health and medical freedom,

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Ref: Science Daily September 23, 2008; The Journal of Nutrition October 2008, 138:1939-1945.

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