Can cocoa products reduce blood pressure or heart disease?

Alternative Medicine, Health Headlines, Nutritional Health
CocoaVia and Cirku are new supplements used for high blood pressure and cardiovascular health according to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD). These products are flavored powders that can be added to a beverage. Each packet contains a cocoa extract providing 350 mg of cocoa flavanols. Those selling the supplements say they may reduce heart disease, but do they? (more…)
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Largest Study to Date Links Chocolate to Lower Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Risk

Heart Health, Nutritional Health
Just in the nick of time -- before the Easter chocolate consumption begins, comes a study letting us know that a small amount of that dark Easter chocolate may be heart healthy. Just released is the largest observational study to date looking at the association between chocolate consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease. And the researchers have announced ... drum roll please ... that those who ate the most chocolate -- around 7.5 g (about a quarter of an ounce) per day -- had a 39% lower risk of MI and stroke than individuals who ate almost no chocolate. Here are the details from an article in MedScape: Lead author Dr Brian Buijsse (German Institute of Human Nutrition, Nuthetal, Germany) told HeartWire, "This shows that habitual consumption of chocolate is related…
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How to Make Chocolate a Healthy Indulgence

General Health
The benefits of being a chocolate lover From Health magazine This ultimate feel-good food keeps your heart healthy, mood up, and body in great shape. Find out what all this natural ingredient can do for you. Here's a just-in-time-for-Easter article on the benefits of being a chocolate lover from Health magazine. This ultimate feel-good food, in moderation, can keep your heart healthy, your mood up, and your body in great shape. Read on to find out what all this natural health food can do for you. Heart helper Chocotini, anyone? A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who ate dark chocolate had less of a protein that indicates inflammation, which can lead to a heart attack. A more recent study showed that just one small square of chocolate a…
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Dark chocolate Easter eggs good for your heart?

Heart Health, Nutritional Health
Easter eggs and other chocolate may be good for you – at least in small quantities and preferably if it’s dark chocolate – according to research that shows just one small square of chocolate a day can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. The study is published online in the European Heart Journal. Researchers in Germany followed 19,357 people, aged between 35 and 65, for at least ten years, and found that those who ate the most amount of chocolate – an average of 7.5 grams a day – had lower blood pressure and a 39% lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke compared to those who ate the least amount of chocolate – an average of 1.7 grams a day. The difference…
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Superfoods for Women

Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
Most of us love to eat great food. But, we also want to feel great. Can we do both? You bet you can if you choose foods that make you energetic, smarter, leaner, and stronger -- and then use them the right way in your daily eating habits. To help you accomplish that, here's a story reported by CBS News. Registered dietician Frances Largeman-Roth, the senior food and nutrition editor for Health Magazine, made these suggestions on "The Early Show" about what she considered some of the top "superfoods" for women: What are "superfoods"? As Largeman-Roth explained, the list comes from Health magazine's experts. "We went to our experts and said, 'If you had to compile a list of 10 superfoods based on nutrient profiles and research, what would you choose?'" Health magazine…
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Consuming one serving of chocolate every week may reduce stroke risk

General Health, Heart Health, Nutritional Health
Just in time for your Valentine's weekend, a new report indicating that chocolate may both cut your risk of a stroke and reduce the risk of death after a stroke. And, the effect may only require one small serving of dark chocolate a week. USA Today reports, "A new analysis, which involved a review of three prior studies, suggests eating about a bar of chocolate a week can help cut the risk of stroke and lower the risk of death after a stroke." Researchers in Canada explained that "one study they looked at found that 44,489 people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22% less likely to have a stroke than people who ate no chocolate." A second study showed that "1,169 people who ate 50 grams of…
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Seven Foods for Better Sex

General Health, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
For this Valentine's Day weekend, some more advice for our married readers from my friends at Health.com, written by Julie Upton, RD, on how you can improve your diet and your sex life at the same time. Knock out two birds with one stone: Enough about oysters, already! If you want to put some sizzle back into your sex life, food can help you set the mood. There’s nothing better than a romantic, home-cooked dinner, featuring some R-rated foods to help turn up the heat. “There’s a growing body of evidence that some of the vitamins and components in foods can enhance sexual function and sexual experience,” says Jennifer R. Berman, MD, director of the Berman Women’s Wellness Center in Beverly Hills, Calif. Here are some of the food ingredients (and my…
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