How many times have you heard that dark chocolate and cocoa are beneficial to your cardiovascular health? All that evidence about its ingredients (catechins, flavanols and procyanidins) makes the argument pretty persuasive to eat or not eat more dark chocolate or consume more cocoa.
Believe it or not, there are no cardiovascular benefits when folks consume cocoa that’s been treated with alkali. This is a nearly universal cocoa-making practice that eliminates the majority of the polyphenols.
The other primary sources of cocoa-type polyphenols are:
- Grape skin
- Red wine
- White tea
- Wild blueberries
Two of the most convincing and notable cardiovascular benefits of cocoa include better artery and performance and reduced blood pressure.
According to some German authors, the magnitude of cocoa’s blood pressure lowering effects can be compared with the range many people get with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and beta-blockers.
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