PC. Luis Quiroz Ravines
Chocolate or cocoa is a food that has been known for some 4,000 years ago in America, particularly in Mexico, Mayan and Aztec tribes used it as money and consumed almost 2000 years before Christ. The tribe of the Kuna in Central America still consumed in high amounts, an average of 40 cups of chocolate a week.
The amazing thing about the Kuna is their enviable health and the most aggressive diseases of the Western world, such as cancer, diabetes, heart failure, stroke and others affect only Cribs levels below 10%.
Some researchers began to pay attention to the diet of the Kuna, and found that the bitter cocoa was the source of good health.
Today coffee and chocolate are two of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. The first bar of chocolate based on cocoa and sugar was introduced by the British company J.S.Fry & Sons in 1847.
In the dark cocoa, there are more than 400 polyphenols beneficial to health.
Italian researchers studied the effects of cocoa into 4 groups of participants from 60 to 85 years old. A group was given 48 mg of cocoa (low dose) to a second 520 mg group. Daily (half dose) and a third group 993 mg. per Day (high dose). The fourth group zero cocoa.
After 8 weeks, the researchers found that participants who consumed medium and high doses of cocoa, significantly improved their levels of attention and memory.
A similar study by the same researchers in 2012 showed that daily consumption of dark cocoa improved in adults, a condition called mild cognitive impairment.
But cocoa is not only good for the brain, it is also beneficial for the heart, high blood pressure and even diabetes. But these benefits are obtained with a cocoa 70% or more purity.
The main components of cocoa are healthy theobromine, epicatechin and resveratrol which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Resveratrol, for example, is an antioxidant protective effects neurons and has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier to protect from inflammation to the brain cells.
Professor Norman Hollenberg of the Harvard University has spent much time studying the Kuna tribe of Panama and discovered that epicatechin that Kuna consumed in high doses, was one of those responsible for their enviable health.
A later study found that cocoa has more than 400 chemical elements and more antioxidant capacity than red wine or green tea, both high in polyphenols. Cocoa has also shown healthy outcomes for their chemopreventive, anti-cancer and anti-mutagenic effects.
Other studies have shown that regular intake of dark chocolate lowers high blood pressure, increases the elasticity of the sanguíneoas vessels and could reduce up to 29% risk of stroke and up to 37% risk of coronary heart disease.
Unfortunately the industrial chocolate is full of sugar, milk and other components that significantly reduce its health effects. It is advisable to purchase high purity chocolate with no additives or sugar. The more bitter, the better, because polifenols are communicating bitter chocolate flavor.
Apples and chocolate a great combination
There are foods that have synergistic effects when consumed together. This is the case of apples and chocolate.
Apples reduce risks associated with heart attacks due to their antioxidant flavonoids including quercetin, anti-inflammatory and dark chocolate, rich in antioxidants catechins, which supports heart health; when both are associated they have been shown to reduce blood clots and consequently reduce risk of heart attacks.