In one of those health and nutrition stories that make you think “when are they going to tell us to start smoking because it’s beneficial”, Chocoholics around the world can quite literally take heart from research that shows chocolate can help you live longer.According to US research, people who eat chocolate and sweets up to three times a month live almost a year longer than those who eat a lot or those who steer clear of the stuff altogether.Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health studied almost 8,000 American men aged 65 for a five-year period. The results were adjusted for other risk factors, including smoking and alcohol intake.
Chocolate, which was the obsession of the Aztecs (even today chocolate is used as a routine ingredient in Latin American cooking) was brought to Europe after the Conquistadors’ conquest of South America.Chocolate is big business with a global market valued at around billion, so this research is excellent news for the manufacturers.
It’s great news too for the British, who consume on average 14 kilograms per person of sugar confectionery each year.OK, that’s not just chocolate bars, but includes chocolate biscuits, Jaffa cakes, Easter Eggs, chocolate drinks etc.In contrast, and not as you would have thought given their reputation for obesity, the average American only eats around 6.5 kilograms of the stuff in the same time period.
Although the test included both chocolate and sweets, the researchers believe chocolate is the secret to a longer life because it contains substances that protect against heart disease and cancer. Chocolate is believed to contain chemicals called phenols, exactly as you would also find in red wine. These can also be found in strawberries, and is why people first started putting them in champagne flutes as they counteract the harmful effects of alchol. They reduce free radicals that damage cells and DNA. The process of chocolate making from the cacao plant may also restrict the formation of the type of cholesterol which damages the heart as well as boosting the immune system.
However, as most food books will tell you, chocolate is high in calories and eating too much can make you fat, thereby actually increasing your risk of heart disease. So the startling truth, as with all these medical/diet/nutrition scare stories, appears to be “moderation in everything” is the key to a long and happy life. For crystal vases and the very highest quality glass vases visit Forever Crystal.