Back in October, researchers published a study in the British Journal of Nutrition that linked cocoa flavanols to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and overall cardiovascular health. But that wasn’t the first study to connect cocoa to healthy veins. A 2006 study in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology found that cocoa flavanols may help people get more blood flowing to the brain, and a 2009 study in Circulation concludes like so:
For many centuries, cocoa has been known for its good taste and its beneficial effects on health. Recent research revealed that cocoa does indeed exert beneficial cardiovascular effects, probably mediated mainly by its polyphenols, a heterogeneous group of molecules found primarily in fruits and vegetables. The beneficial effects of cacao are most likely due to an increased bioavailability of NO. This may explain the improvement in endothelial function, the reduction in platelet function, and the potentially beneficial effects on blood pressure, insulin resistance, and blood lipids.
The evidence is really piling up and it continues to pile.
For instance, a new study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology has uncovered information that shows that cocoa flavanols may improve vascular functioning in people with end-stage renal disease. Sufferers of ESRD aren’t able to produce enough nitric oxide, so the researchers wanted to see if cocoa flavanols could help with that.
Test subjects who were given cocoa flavanols saw a 53% increase in flow-mediated dilation (a non-invasive test for determining endothelial functioning) and seemed to alleviate some vascular dysfunction.
According to Dr Rassaf and colleagues, the study yields four major findings: in patients with ESRD, ingestion of CF (Cocoa flavanols) (at 900 mg per day) is well tolerated, endothelial dysfunction is partly reversed by acute and chronic ingestion of CF, chronic ingestion of CF leads to decrease in diastolic blood pressure without “affecting markers of aortic stiffness,” and CF ingestion mitigates vascular dysfunction induced by HD (hemodialysis).
If you’re interested in getting more cocoa in your diet without having to resort to eating a bunch of sugary candy, The AIM Companies offers CoCoa LeafGreens. Not only does it contain vein-friendly cocoa flavanols, but it’s also made from a mix of five green vegetables and powerful antioxidants. And it has zero grams of sugar and only ten calories. Try it. You cannot lose.