Chocolate that is rich in flavanols has been shown to reduce inflammation particularly in patients with atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty deposits inside the artery walls aka cholesterol) and chronic heart failure. As demonstrated in studies: “cocoa derived flavanols can reduce the production and effect of pro-inflammatory mediators either directly or by acting on signaling pathways.”
Why is this so important? Inflammation has been linked to a host of chronic illness and it is something that we cannot see or feel rather we feel the affects of inflammation through illness. Inflammation is silent but deadly. Becoming proactive and giving your body what it needs to help put out the ‘fire’ that is burning inside is something everyone should practice. There are a number of foods that really do help reduce inflammation but one of natures best medicines is raw organic dark chocolate.
Does this mean you can head down to your local store and get some? No, not really because the big chocolate manufacturers have heated the cacao which has killed up to 80% of the beneficial flavanols and all the good stuff that makes chocolate healthy or helpful to the body. You can eat dark chocolate from the store and you may feel some benefits but it is all made with sugar. As multiple studies have shown dark chocolate does help and most of the studies were completed using a commercial chocolate that may have been processed. However, their conclusions also use caution that commercial chocolate laced with sugar will have negative effects especially due to the sugars.
Here is another fun fact; just because a chocolate may tout the percentage of cacao does not mean it has higher flavanols. The candy wrappers that show you how much cacao is in that bar is only referring to how bitter the chocolate will taste. Some people enjoy a very bitter tasting chocolate and some do not. As you strive to take control of your health and to become more proactive, select a high quality gourmet healthy chocolate because it is this type of chocolate that will deliver the anti-inflammatory properties of cocoa flavanols.