Part C is for Chocolate:

Different foods have been used over the years by many to help with healing and improving one’s stress levels. What are some foods that you can partake in if you want to help decrease stress?

Let’s start with a favorite and commonly eaten food, one in which many say they eat for health purposes and would be right- Dark Chocolate.

Cacao which is what dark chocolate is derived from has shown in recent study in healthy humans that the flavonoids in the chocolate can induce vasodilation providing protection against coronary events and in relaxing the blood vessels and improving blood flow, thereby lowering blood pressure (1,2,3).

Another study shows that eating dark chocolate acutely decreases wave reflections, which may adversely influence both left ventricular afterload and ejection performance (4,5). Also of note is that dark chocolate consumption does not affect aortic stiffness and that it may exert a beneficial effect on endothelial function in healthy adults (4). Chocolate consumption may exert a protective effect on the cardiovascular system; further studies are warranted to assess any long-term effects (4).

References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14654748/ Opens in new window
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15190043/ Opens in new window
  3. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/dark-chocolate/ Opens in new window
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15925737/ Opens in new window
  5. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1161/01.CIR.75.4.711 Opens in new window