Chocolate has been known uplift the spirit – but what great news that it’s good for our liver too! Dark chocolate, in particular, contains rich antioxidants that help cleanse the liver and control blood pressure, which is important for people suffering liver cirrhosis.
Researchers have used different types of chocolate and studied its effect on patients with liver disease. Their findings showed that those given white chocolate did not exhibit significant improvements. They believe that this is because white chocolate does not have antioxidants. On the other hand, patients who were given dark chocolate with their daily meals reacted favorably – showing minimal increase in their ost-meal blood pressure.
Heart diseases and liver cirrhosis usually cause high blood pressure or hypertension. Our bodies have veins that span from the intestines to the liver. Livers with cirrhosis, however, amass scarred tissues, making it difficult for blood to flow properly, and causing blood to build up in the veins. This puts cirrhosis patients at great health risk should the blood vessel burst. Build ups also cause damage to the inner lining of the blood vessels, which can possibly lead to stroke and heart attack.
So how can dark chocolate play an important role in liver health?
Cocoa beans, from which dark chocolate is made, contain flavonoids that have antioxidant qualities. These antioxidants help keep the blood vessels healthy. It aids the arterial flow to prevent blood buildup and high blood pressure. Flavanoids have also been found to improve the body’s overall blood flow, especially through the heart and the brain. It promotes vascular health, enabling the blood to clot in cases of open wounds.
Dark chocolate contains higher amounts of cocoa. Other chocolate variants like milk chocolate typically has less cocoa content, and are thus not as beneficial as dark chocolate. Many dark chocolate brands have over seventy percent of cocoa, while milk chocolate contains around twenty to thirty percent cocoa solids. So choose dark chocolates to treat your sweet tooth and your liver!