Eating Chocolate Helps You ‘Live Longer’

Crumbled chocolate jarPixabay

Someone buy these scientists a round because they’ve come up with something we can all get behind: chocolate is apparently good for you and will help you ‘live longer’.

Normally, stories combining scientists and foodstuffs are the kind to scare the wits off you. Not today though my hungry friends.

Not just chocolate, drinking tea could also be beneficial to your health. Someone stick the kettle on!

A brew and/or a bar of your favourite brown sweetly goodness, taken along with zinc supplements activates a compound which slows down ageing, according to a study, the MailOnline reports.

This compound combined by the treat/zinc combo reverses the ‘internal stress’ which naturally accumulates and has been linked to ‘everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s’.

Chocolate, tea, as well as coffee and wine contain, the antioxidants polyphenols, which help combat cell damage. It’s like my diet has been told it was right all along. Although I’d better go and get some of those zinc supplements just to be sure.

Researchers from the University of Erlangen–Nuremberg found the zinc polyphenol activation protects against a gas produced as a waste product in cells. It’s this waste gas which can damage a person’s DNA – oxidative stress – and is thought to play a key role in ageing.

There’s also reportedly a link between this stress and inflammation which can cause cancer and diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Lead author, Dr Ivana Ivanović-Burmazović, said:

It is certainly possible wine, coffee, tea or chocolate may well become be available in [the] future with added zinc.

Polyphenols on their own can’t break down this damaging gas (haha, damaging gas), but when combined with zinc they create a ‘mega complex’.  This mimics the naturally-occurring superoxide dismutase enzyme which destroys the gas, helping protect the body from its effects.

The German study is the first time the effects of the enzyme have been copied without resorting to the chemical properties of metals such as iron or copper. Excessive exposure to these can cause their own internal stress, however zinc is much less toxic.

Put that spinach down for a second because too much iron has been linked to liver disease, diabetes as well as heart failure. Too much copper can cause fever, anaemia and low blood pressure.

Zinc, on the other hand, can be tolerated at much higher levels with nausea and a change in taste as possible side effects to overexposure.

The researchers hope it can be taken as a supplement or incorporated as part of a drug with fewer side effects. It’s also plausible zinc can be added to food which naturally contains polyphenols. It’s found in high quantities in red meat. Steak, wine, chocolate. Sounds like a banging date imho.

Chocolate has already been touted by experts as being good for you. Moderate consumption of dark chocolate is the way to go though.

Some bigwigs in a bunch of lab coats (presumably) found consuming up to three bars a month, cuts a person’s risk of heart failure by 13 per cent, compared with those who stay away from the stuff altogether.

Researchers claim natural compounds found in cocoa, called flavonoids, help blood vessel health and reduce inflammation.

However, they also warn against overdoing it on the chocolate. For those who indulge daily, heart failure risk increases by 17 per cent.

Lead researcher, Dr Chayakrit Krittanawong, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, said as per The Sun:

Moderate dark chocolate consumption is good for health. However, chocolate may have high levels of saturated fats. Therefore, moderate consumption is recommended.

If you buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it’s actually quite nutritious. It contains a fair amount of soluble fibre and minerals.

Chocolate barPixabay

Obviously 100 grams (3.5 ounces) is a pretty big amount and not something you should be consuming on the reg. Also, all these nutrients come with 600 calories and moderate amounts of sugar.

Thus, dark chocolate is best consumed in moderation. Just like most things.

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