We hear about it all the time - "chocolate is healthy for you, too!" But do we really believe it? We just nod and smile, and whether we believe it or not, we still gobble up our Godiva.
Now, scientists are earnestly claiming that they have developed a true chocolate bar with real health benefits, particularly in promoting cardiovascular health. Mars Inc put CocoaVia out on the market last fall. Just a few facts and figures that support chocolate as a health food:
- Cocoa in its raw state is one of the best known sources of plant flavanols, which are a naturally occurring compound in plants (also found in red wine, green tea and certain vegetables)
- a population of Kuna Indians of Panama had lower blood pressure, less hypertension and fewer cardiovascular diseases than their relatives who moved to the mainland. The reason? The natives Indians drink 3-4 cups of cocoa per day, but the relatives who moved to the mainland stopped
- a 15-year study shows that older men who consumed a lot of cocoa had a 50% lower risk of dying from any disease than those who ate none
- 136 articles scientific articles between mid 1990 and today show that eating small amounts of dark chocolate every day reduces heart disease
There are plenty more facts and figures out there that will support Mars and the scientists, but I think they are beside the point. It seems like head-shakers are arguing the real health benefits of flavanols. Who cares? If they're not bad for you, and the CocoaVia tastes good, then there' s nothing wrong with eating it. Now if the CocoaVia doesn't taste good at all, well, that's a different story.