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Want a healthy heart? Eat small portions of dark chocolate having extra virgin olive oil every day

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Dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil may improve your heart health by increasing good cholesterol levels and preserving the ‘repairing cells’ critical for maintaining blood vessels, a study has found.

“A healthy diet is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Rossella Di Stefano, a cardiologist at the University of Pisa in Italy. “Fruits and vegetables exert their protective effects through plant polyphenols, which are found in cocoa, olive oil, and apples,” Di Stefano. “Research has found that the Italian Panaia red apple has very high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants,” he said.

The study tested whether consumption of dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil or Panaia red apple was linked to atherosclerosis – fat build-up in the artery walls – in healthy people who had cardiovascular risk factors.

The study included 26 volunteers (14 men, 12 women) with at least three cardiovascular risk factors (dyslipidaemia, smoking, hypertension or family history of heart disease) who received 40 grammes of dark chocolate daily for 28 days.

For 14 consecutive days it contained 10% extra virgin olive oil and for 14 consecutive days it contained 2.5% Panaia red apple. The two types of chocolate were given in random order.

Progression of atherosclerosis was assessed by metabolic changes, lipid profile, blood pressure and circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPC), which are critical for vascular repair and maintenance of the cells inside blood vessels.

Urine and blood samples were collected at baseline and after the intervention. Urine samples were analysed by proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for endogenous metabolites. Circulating EPC levels were assessed with flow cytometry. Smoking status, body mass index, blood pressure, glycaemia and lipid profile were also monitored.

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Muslim Global: Want a healthy heart? Eat small portions of dark chocolate having extra virgin olive oil every day
Want a healthy heart? Eat small portions of dark chocolate having extra virgin olive oil every day
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Muslim Global
http://www.muslimglobal.com/2017/08/want-healthy-heart-eat-small-portions.html
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