First observed at Harvard, cocoa flavanols improve cardiovascular health by increasing the elasticity of your arteries and vessels, essentially improving blood flow.
Check out our “top five” list of cardio benefits below and then add cocoa flavanols to your daily diet for a cardio high five!
5. Improve Your Circulation: One recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed a remarkable 24% increase in flow mediated artery dilation (FMD), a measure of blood flow, just two hours after consuming 900mg of cocoa flavanols!
4. Lower Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: Numerous placebo-controlled studies of cocoa flavanols show meaningful reductions in both blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), while simultaneously raising HDL levels (good cholesterol)! Daily consumption between 500-1,000mg optimizes these benefits.
3. Support Exercise Performance: Early studies suggest cocoa flavanols may support exercise performance (remember that enhanced blood flow?!) In fact, a recent 14-day study of cyclists by Patel et al. demonstrated improvements in VO2 max and two-minute time trial performance.
2. Reduce Your Blood Sugar: Four well-controlled studies show that cocoa flavanols lower blood sugar, which is an important driver of heart health, and improve insulin resistance. In fact, these studies show an average reduction in glucose levels of over 10%, and an average improvement in insulin resistance of nearly 40%!
1. Decrease Risk of Heart Attack: A landmark study of cocoa flavanols conducted at University of Duesseldorf, Germany predicted a 31% reduction in the risk of heart attack among healthy, middle aged adults utilizing the Framingham risk model.