50 Shades of Chocolate – the sequel

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I have mentioned before the benefits of chocolate and about enjoying your chocolate over the festive period without feeling guilty, but there is yet more good news related to cocoa.

I may have mentioned previously that since my stroke I often now have a kidney infection on my one side, my less strong side. I had never had infections before. I also now have to take both beta and alpha blockers.

The reason for mentioning the above is that both the heart and kidneys are major organs, and if one stops functioning properly the other will be affected.

If the heart stops pumping correctly it becomes congested with blood and pressure will build up. This can cause a congestion of blood in the kidneys and a lack of oxygenated blood.

Conversely, if the kidneys stop functioning correctly due to damage, the hormone system that regulates blood pressure goes into overdrive to get blood to the kidneys putting extra pressure onto the heart. The heart can become damaged by the extra workload.

I hear you asking, what has this got to do with cocoa? Well research by the Medical News Today, found that flavonols in dark chocolate and cocoa have beneficial effects on blood vessel function.

These flavonols found in cocoa and dark chocolate are part of a large group of compounds called flavonoids that are found naturally in plants, in this case the cocoa bean. It gets better, they are also found in wait for it, red wine and tea.

According to a study at Tufts University MA the findings were that flavonols help maintain the flexibility of arteries. If we consume 2.5g high flavonols cocoa powder or 10g dark chocolate high flavonols it will help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels. This isn’t the same for other types of chocolate because of the processing method.

It is also believed these flavonols can help memory function.

So yet again as a stroke survivor we need assistance with all of the above and being a chocolate lover, I don’t see any harm in giving it a try. Nothing to lose but enjoyable to try. So yet again happy eating.

As this will be my last blog of 2015 and Christmas is almost upon us, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy & healthy Christmas and an even healthier 2016!

Thank you for reading my posts and to those of you who have bought my book, and in doing so are helping to raise greater awareness of stroke.

Merry Christmas All

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