While seeing new studies or research indicating the health benefits of a particular food are nothing new, there continues to be a steady stream of information coming out of respected journals and research centers that focuses around the benefits of dark chocolate.
A new study that has just emerged from the University of Granada in Spain has looked at the effects of high chocolate consumption on teenagers, specifically. They have found a distinct link between a high chocolate consumption and low levels of body fat. The results were published in the journal Nutrition.
The study was led by Dr Magdalena Cuenca-Garcia who is a member of the Department of Medical Physiology in Granada University’s School of Medicine. With the help of her colleagues in the study, they have published some very interesting findings which are likely to have repercussions in Europe as they begin dealing with diet, illness and fitness issues in their teenagers and adolescents.
The research is considered part of the HELENA study group which is focused on collecting analyzing data about the habits of young people across Europe. There have been several studies in recent years that have linked a regular consumption of chocolate with leanness in adults along with some distinct signs that eating chocolate can reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
This is one of the first studies that has confirmed chocolate has a number of benefits for teenagers as opposed to just adults.
The study itself analyzed records on 1,458 teenagers who were between the ages of 12 and 17. It asked them to complete computer-based questionnaires that asked them to recall what they had eaten during the previous 24 hours of 2 non-consecutive days. The subjects of the study hailed from nine different European countries and the data set is considered to be especially broad.
The conclusions of the study indicated that higher chocolate intake amongst European teenagers was linked with lower levels of total fat and fat around their waist. What made these conclusions especially interesting was that exercise had little to no impact on the results.
While the study itself did not focus on why chocolate has benefits for teenagers, the researchers declared that it likely had to do with the flavonoids contained in dark chocolate. The antioxidants found in dark chocolate are considered to have anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties that many believe protects against cardio-vascular problems. Many also believe that it can reduce blood pressure.
There is a marked distinction between dark chocolate and milk chocolate (which tends to be more commercially successful) and European dark chocolate tends to have a significantly higher cocoa content – which is where the anti-oxidant benefits tend to be derived from.
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