Today, I thought we’d take a break from the daily news cycle to talk about chocolate. Because honestly, who doesn’t like a good story about chocolate?
It’s been one of my favorite topics since I first read about a study on the Kuna Indians of Panama years ago. These indigenous people live on an island off the coast of Panama. And guess what? They have no heart disease. But researchers found that when they moved to the mainland, they suffered the same level of heart disease as any other Panamanian.
Why? Well, the Kuna who live on the island eat a traditional diet, which happens to be very rich in cocoa. And as research has proven time and again, the connection between cocoa and heart health is no coincidence.
So, let’s take a look at what this latest study found…
Daily cocoa keeps you moving
According to some new research, flavanol-rich cocoa may help walking performance in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD).
In a nutshell, PAD restricts the arteries leading to your limbs—blocking nutrients, oxygen, and blood flow. It’s not quite the urgent health crisis that coronary artery disease is—when blood flow is blocked to your heart. But PAD comes with its own set of life-altering complications.
Leg pain and cramping—or “intermittent claudication”—is the most notorious hallmark of PAD. It can result from even a short stroll around the block. And it can be downright crippling.
So this news couldn’t get any better, as far as I’m concerned. Especially since I see a lot of patients with PAD (generally as a result of eating too much sugar, or underlying health conditions, like diabetes or obesity).
For this new study, participants randomly received either a cocoa beverage or a placebo beverage three times a day for six months. Researchers found that the patients who drank the cocoa enjoyed significant improvements in six-minute walk distance compared to the placebo group. (By about 150 feet.)
They also found improvement in circulation to the legs, and improved mitochondrial function in the calf muscles of patients who drank the cocoa beverage.
Needless to say, these are all results that conventional medicine has struggled to achieve. And it’s really no surprise. I sometimes wonder if they even know what the mitochondria are good for—let alone, how to help these vital cellular powerhouses to work more efficiently. (Mitochondria are like tiny powerplants inside your cells. And when they malfunction, it’s been linked to a number of serious health concerns—from heart disease to diabetes to Alzheimer’s.)
Buy as pure as possible
Just imagine being able to get blood flowing back to your legs again, and regenerating your calf muscles, simply by drinking some cocoa (sugar-free, of course)! Because that, folks, is exactly what this study showed.
In fact, the flavanols in cocoa—like epicatechin, for example—make dark chocolate medicinal with daily consumption. So I’m not too surprised… but I am incredibly impressed.
Now, let’s go over some caveats before you start stocking up on your next shopping trip.
First and foremost, the cocoa powder used in this study was more than 85 percent cocoa—not a milk chocolate. Which is why I’m always urging you to buy as pure and unadulterated a product as possible.
Because when you add in sugar and fat to make cocoa taste better, it comes at the expense of the flavanols you’re pushing out.
And in case you couldn’t tell, I’m a big fan of cocoa bioflavonoids. So always opt for dark chocolate that contains at least 85 percent cocoa. Or you could do what I do: Add some really dark and bitter cocoa powder—100 percent is best—with some water. Heat it up, and then once it’s fully combined, remove it from the heat and add a bit of stevia for sweetness.
Drink it hot or cold—whichever you prefer. Either way, your heart and your legs will be happier for it.
P.S. For more ways to naturally safeguard your heart against America’s biggest killers—high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke—take a look at my Ultimate Heart Protection Protocol. To learn more about this online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here now.
“Cocoa a Novel Rx for Peripheral Artery Disease?” Medscape Medical News, 02/26/2020. (medscape.com/viewarticle/925735)