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Exercise. Eat healthy. Stay slim. Lower your stress. This to-do list is great for a healthy heart, but it may not sound like fun. Thank goodness, there's chocolate! guide by  Hearts Of Cupid 


Hundreds of studies have found that cocoa bean products specifically–dark chocolate–keep the heart and blood vessels in good shape. Here are some of the ways this delicious treat helps the heart

Eating dark chocolate could reduce inflammation. When we're stressed, the body triggers an inflammatory response, which can lead to or worsen heart disease—but dark chocolate blocks it from happening. Researchers studied a group of male participants who ate either a bar of dark chocolate or one that looked identical but didn't contain healthy ingredients found in dark chocolate. They then were put through a stressful task and afterwards were given blood tests. The results showed those who had eaten real dark chocolate (along with its compounds) had lower levels of inflammatory markers than those who consumed the fake kind—suggesting an anti-inflammatory effect!

There is evidence that it reduces your chances of having a stroke. A 2012 Finnish study found those who ate 2 ounces of dark chocolate per week reduced their risk for the medical emergency known as a stroke.

Cocoa may lower the risk of heart rhythm problems. A Dutch study involving more than 55,000 people showed that just 2 to 6 ounces of cocoa per week lowered the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat by 20%. This is great because those with this heart problem have a 5 times greater chance at having a stroke.

Cocoa may also help cholesterol levels. In research published in 2005, people were given about 31⁄2 ounces of either dark chocolate or white chocolate to eat every day for 15 days. Those who got the dark chocolate had significantly less bad LDL cholesterol–the type which clogs arteries and slows down blood flow–by about 12%.



You may notice an improvement in circulation. When the flow of blood to arms and legs slows, walking can become uncomfortable or even painful. However, those who ate 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate for six weeks were able to walk 15% longer and 11% farther than those who ate milk chocolate, according to a 2014 study.

It may reduce blood pressure. High blood pressure is thought to be responsible for half of the world’s cases of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes.

But a little dark chocolate could keep your blood pressure in the healthy range. A review study looking at 35 previous studies found that regularly eating dark chocolate caused small but important decreases in blood pressure.

To get the most out of it, you need high-quality chocolate (70% cacao or higher). Avoid less expensive chocolates containing artificial ingredients such as caramel color or preservatives; they won't produce long-lasting benefits. Try to include just one serving per day; too much will increase your risk for weight gain because they're loaded with calories.




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