Recent studies done at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health reveal that the chemical in cocoa beans has a biochemical effect similar to aspirin in reducing platelet clumping, which can be fatal if a clot forms and blocks a blood vessel, causing 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 says that these findings are not intended as a prescription to eat large amounts of chocolate candy.
Large amounts of chocolate candy also contain large amounts of sugar, butter and cream. However, as little as two tablespoons of dark chocolate a day may be beneficial to our health. Dark chocolate is the purest form of the candy and is made from dried extract of roasted coca beans.
Eating a small amount of chocolate or having a drink of hot cocoa as part of a regular diet is probably good for your health. Be wise and do not eat too much chocolate, especially too much of the kind with lots of butter and sugar. Dark chocolate in small amounts is acceptable and beneficial to good health in persons who practice good health habits otherwise.
The body part most benefited by small amounts of dark chocolate, according to these researchers’ findings is the “heart.” The results really point out that a modest dietary practice can have a huge impact on blood and potentially on the health of people at a mildly elevated risk of heart disease. Researchers emphasize the fact that one single healthy dietary practice cannot be done alone. We must balance our small daily amounts of “dark chocolate” with exercise and other healthy lifestyle practices to reap the rewards of a healthier heart.
Another easy way of boosting good health is the daily consumption of cranberries. Cranberries are among the top foods with proven health benefits, according to Amy Howell, a researcher at Rutgers University. Cranberries are full of antioxidants. Antioxidants are instrumental in protecting cells from damage from molecules called “free radicals.”
Research on the cranberry’s effects on heart disease, yeast infections and other conditions such as cancer, stroke and viral infections has so far found that drinking cranberry juice can block urinary infections. A compound called “proanthocyanidine” prevents plaque formation on teeth. As a result of this finding mouthwashes containing the compound proanthocyanidine are being developed to prevent periodontal disease.
Studies have also shown that in some people regular cranberry juice consumption for months can kill the H.pylori bacteria, which can cause stomach cancer and ulcers.
Drinking cranberry juice daily may increase levels of HDL, or good cholesterol and reduce levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol.
Cranberries may prevent tumors from growing rapidly or starting in the first place.
So I guess the moral to this story is add a little dark chocolate to your already healthy diet and lifestyle practices plus drink a glass of cranberry juice daily. I wouldn’t advise to consume those two items at the same time; however, you might eat some dark chocolate in the morning with your morning coffee and several hours later as a snack drink a glass of cranberry juice. That sounds easy enough!
I just wish they would discover peanut butter fudge eaten in LARGE quantities was good for our health because peanut butter fudge is my favorite to drink with morning coffee.