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Dark Chocolate & Peripheral Arterial Disease

Chocolate, chocolate, and still more chocolate, but not the milk chocolate most all of us love.

I have posted much (all good) over the years about the benefit of dark chocolate and yet again it would seem to be another plus for the lovers of this particular kind of chocolate. This time however instead of flavanol a potent antioxidant it’s the turn of Polyphenol-rich nutrients found in the chocolate.

Francesco Violi MD, senior author, and professor of internal medicine out of the Sapienza University of Rome, found that their research into dark chocolate had surprising results when given to a total of 20 adults comprising of 14 men and six women aged between 60 and 70 years of age (approximately).

Their research into the effects of dark chocolate when given to the participants suffering from Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), also called peripheral vascular disease (PVD), improved not only their walking ability it also allowed them more staying power to walk for longer periods of time. Showing that this particular strength of dark chocolate (85 percent or higher) may help with poor blood flow to our circulatory system. Francesco Violi, M.D was quoted as saying “Polyphenol-rich nutrients could represent a new therapeutic strategy to counteract cardiovascular complications.”

Their research also included milk chocolate set against the same study which showed no improvement, in fact, the opposite seems to have been true. The test was carried out on treadmill mills for both study’s and it showed that those who had eaten dark chocolate remained on the treadmills for 15 percent longer than those who had eaten milk chocolate.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), is a common circulation problem and its cause is a narrowing of the arteries reducing the blood flow to the limbs. This health problem comes with severe pain and cramping, and normally affects the hips and/or legs, it can also affect the arteries that carry blood from our heart to our head, arms, kidneys, etc. and I hope never to personally experience this particular disease myself.

As you may suspect there are other foods rich in Polyphenol, you do not have to suffer the bitter taste of dark chocolate to reap the rewards. There are many foods rich in Polyphenol nutrients such as:

  • Broccoli
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pears
  • Green apples (with skin)

In fact, there are many everyday foods fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices, even wine to name a few. Whatever your taste if you want to reap the benefits of Polyphenol nutrients there are plenty of foods to choose from Oxford Academic has a comprehensive list of foods. Simply type Polyphenol into their search box… Enjoy…