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Why your gut loves chocolate
Do you wonder why chocolate is good for you? This research reveals that the secret lies in our gut.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 02:48 PM
Research presented at the American Chemical Society
illuminates some of the mystery of how chocolate is used by the body for good. In this specific study, researchers tested three cocoa powders using equipment that mimicked human digestion in the stomach. Then the cocoa powder was fermented using human fecal matter to mimic the human colon (this is where the research becomes decidedly unromantic.)
What they found was this:
Good microbes in your digestive system
love chocolate just as much as you do! Bacteria such as Bifidobacterium
and lactic acid bacteria have a feast with chocolate, as they ferment and grow it. This process then produces anti-inflammatory compounds, which are then absorbed into the body and can help protect your cardiovascular system, and even reduce your long-term risk of having a stroke.
John Finely, Ph.D., who led the study, recommends eating prebiotics
with cocoa powder because they help build up the good bacteria in your gut and reduce the populations of bad bacteria. This allows you to get the full benefit of chocolate. Prebiotics are in carbohydrate-rich foods such as whole grains, onions and garlic. Finely also said that chocolate combined with antioxidant-rich whole fruits such as pomegranates and acai could have even more health benefits for us.
Note that this study was done using non-sweetened cocoa powder. To mimic the benefits, use unsweetened cocoa powder or very dark chocolate.
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