Sunday, February 19, 2012
Who doesn’t like to cheat on their diet every now and then with a little dark chocolate and red wine? Well, don’t feel too guilty since dark chocolate and red wine have been shown to have significant benefits in fighting both heart disease and cancer.
Chocolate packs a real punch rich in flavonoids that provide protection against toxins and help the body to repair damaged cells. The main flavonoid found in chocolate is the antioxidant "flavanol," employed to keep the heart healthy by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow and maintaining healthy platelets that are less likely to clot. These flavonoids are found in higher numbers in dark chocolate, as it has been less processed.
Dark chocolate has an additional health benefit protecting against cancers like mesothelioma, breast cancer, or even prostate cancer. The antioxidants found in the cacao bean are the highest in any natural source, and these provide resistance against cell damage that can lead to tumors. In a nutritional diet, the recommended daily amount is one ounce of chocolate containing at least 64 percent cacao, especially for cancer patients to prevent further growth of tumors.
Red grapes hold a super health secret as well. They are another food source containing high levels of antioxidants. The antioxidants in red wine are particularly valuable in combating breast cancer cell growth. The same is not true, however, for white wine, as the benefits are found in the skin of the red grapes.
Red wine has similar properties to dark chocolate in preventing heart disease. The antioxidant, resveratrol, reduces the risk of damage to blood vessels and prevents blood clots. In addition, a lack of antioxidants can result in cardiovascular damage, such as a built up cholesterol on the artery walls, so by including one or two servings of red wine a day in a healthy diet, the body receives the required amount of antioxidants.
So, go ahead and feel free to indulge a little and think of it as a toast to your health. Salute!
Katrina Evans is a recent college graduate and major foodie aspiring to write with a purpose. In the name of health and wellness, she especially enjoys making a difference in the lives of others seeing how devastating cancer can be for people and their families. Katrina also reads all the time, works to stay fit, and listens to cool podcasts.