Healthy Valentine's Day?: Dark Chocolate Better for a Sweet Heart
Tomitheos Linardos | February 14, 2010 at 12:29 amby
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Dark chocolate contains a large number of flavinoids and antioxidants, nearly 8 times more found in strawberries. Dark chocolate is made from the carob bean, which means it contains flavonoids that act as antioxidants.
Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure, through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.
Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate everyday can reduce blood pressure and lower LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 %.
Heart Attacks in the Headlines
Bill Clinton's recent chest pain scare and Brittany Murphy's death from a heart attack underscore the importance of a healthy heart.
Retired NHLer Mario Lemieux's career was plagued by health problems, but in 2006 he was diagnosed with an atrial fibrillation. Detroit Red Wing defenceman Jiri Fischer's heart stopped on national television when he collapsed after returning to the bench.
During the heart stopping televised moments, medical personnel scrambled frantically to keep him alive with an automated external defibrillator (AED) and with CPR.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in men and women, greater than the next five causes of death combined. Once the heart stops pumping a person's chance of surviving drops by about 10% per minute whereby defibrillation can improve cardiac arrest survival rates by 50% or more if delivered in the first few minutes.
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