Treats for the Heart
Doctors and medical researchers have actually endorsed these treats, and here’s why:
Chocolate: Antioxidant Powerhouse #1
The cells in our bodies are continually subjected to damage through a process called oxidation. This can cause a host of problems for the heart, like prompting LDL (“bad”) cholesterol to form artery-clogging plaque.
To resist the damage of oxidation, our bodies utilize compounds called antioxidants. Flavonoids are one specific class of antioxidants, and the cocoa bean contains a large amount of specific heart-healthy flavonoids called flavanols. Researchers say the compound can lower blood pressure, prevent blood clots, and improve blood flow.
Unfortunately, manufactures routinely remove a large percentage of chocolate’s flavanols during processing. This is most noticeable in milk chocolate, but certain types of dark chocolate are highly processed, too. Even so, medical experts report that eating a few one-ounce servings of dark chocolate (at least 60 percent cocoa solids) each week could provide protection against heart disease.
Red Wine: Antioxidant Powerhouse #2
Like chocolate, red wine contains a large amount of protective antioxidants. The specific compound in red wine is a type of polyphenol called resveratrol.
Researchers speculate that resveratrol protects the heart in several different ways: increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol and protecting the lining of blood vessels, plus helping prevent diabetes and obesity. Although the research is somewhat debated, countless patients and some doctors believe in the power of resveratrol and red wine. According to the University of California at Davis, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Syrah, and Pinot Noir have the highest concentrations of heart-healthy flavonoids. They recommend that women drink one serving of red wine per day and that men bump up their portion to two servings each day. Remember, one serving equals 4-5 ounces of wine.
If you’ve been prescribed medications to treat heart disease, be sure to discuss any dietary changes with your doctor. Remember that the Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card could save you up to 75% on both brand name and generic medicines. Click on the “Get Your Free Card” link or text CARD to 95577 now to start saving instantly.
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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