A recent study discovered a delicious treat which might significantly improve heart health. It seems that dark chocolate produced using extra virgin olive oil can raise the levels of good cholesterol in blood, and prolong the life of those cells which repair blood vessels. Diet is important in maintaining one’s health, and certain foods contain chemicals which minimize the risk of heart disease.
Olive oil and Panaia apples contain chemicals good for the heart
Many fruits and vegetable products contain polyphenols, which provide a protective effect offer the heart and blood vessels. These chemicals can be found in high quantities in olive oil, cocoa, or certain fruits, such as apples. Italian Panaia red apples, for instance, are rich both in polyphenols and antioxidants.
Therefore, researchers thought of adding extra virgin olive oil or slices of Panaia red apples to dark chocolate, and see how consuming it could affect the evolution of atherosclerosis in people with an increased cardiovascular risk.
Adding extra virgin olive oil to dark chocolate reduces the cardiovascular risk
For the study, they recruited 26 volunteers, namely 12 women and 14 men, who had at least three risk factors related to cardiovascular disease. For 28 days, they received 40 grams of dark chocolate. The chocolate from the first 14 days was enriched with 10 percent olive oil, while, for the remaining 14 days, the oil was replaced with 2.5 percent apple.
Then, they tested the participants’ blood pressure, lipid profile, and other factors related to the progression of atherosclerosis. At the end of the trial, they made an interesting discovery. Rossella Di Stefano, one of the researchers, revealed their results.
“We found that small daily portions of dark chocolate with added natural polyphenols from extra virgin olive oil was associated with an improved cardiovascular risk profile.”
The chocolate containing olive oil gave better results than the one containing apple. This means the oil can effectively be used as an additive which can contribute to the well-being of our repairing cells, keeping atherosclerosis development under control.
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