June 28, 2010
It seems that researchers have discovered the health benefits of an active ingredient called epicatechin in protecting against stroke. Epicatechin is a type of flavanol found in cocoa.In the animal study, the results suggest that this chemical is able to protect against the risk of stroke, even up to 3.5 hours afterwards.
But be warned that eating a lot of dark chocolate is not heart healthy regardless of the amount of benefits offered by flavanol such as epicatechin.
As you know, dark chocolate is very high in calories and contains a lot of saturated fats that is known to be bad for your health. What is one to do? Focus on cocoa instead, the main component of dark chocolate that gives it the bitter taste.
Indeed one population study showed that drinking cocoa, as Indians in Panama do, resulted in their population having lowered risk of stroke and heart disease.
But there are many unanswered questions...
It will be sometime before we know of the exact methods by which the active chemicals in dark chocolate can cut stroke risk down. If you enjoy eating dark chocolate continuing doing so in moderation knowing that you will get some health benefits from it.