Great news, Chocolate and Wine may be good for you.
With Christmas only 39 days away and a feast of Chocolate in store the good news is that chocolate and red wine may be good for us. It’s possible that a little bit of chocolate may be good for you. Dark chocolate has antioxidants and also has some positive impact on the function of blood vessels. Chocolate also holds benefits apart from protecting your heart:
•it tastes good
•it stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure
•it contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
•it contains theobromine, caffeine and other substances which are stimulants
The bad news is you only need about one and one-half ounces of dark chocolate which is about 4 squares per day, and dark chocolate has more of the antioxidants than milk chocolate, so there are no health benefits from eating a whole box of Chocolates at a time.
Antioxidants have been in the news more and more in recent years, with research continuing to prove the powerful benefits of these protective vitamins. Wine antioxidants have also received a great deal of attention. A glass of wine a day has been proven to protect the heart, and recent studies even indicate it could help beat cancer. Again this is not an excuse to drink a whole bottle of wine.
So what, exactly, do antioxidants do? In general, they fight against free radicals, substances that contribute to the breakdown of body cells over time. Simply put, body cells undergo oxidation, similar to the process that occurs when metal rusts. This oxidation occurs as a natural side effect as the cells go about their daily business of producing energy by synthesizing the foods we eat. Antioxidants slow this oxidation process. In the same way, they can slow or stop processes occurring within the cells that can lead to cancer. They even seem to decelerate the aging process in general, gaining a reputation as a “fountain of youth.”
Antioxidants also help relax the blood vessels, contributing to overall cardiovascular health, reduce the clotting that can lead to strokes or heart attacks, and prevent LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, from oxidizing in the system. All these functions greatly reduce risk of heart attack and stroke, and additional evidence suggests they might help fight other age-related disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.