Heart Healthy Chocolate

Thursday, February 22nd 2007, 10:40 am
By: News On 6

Most people get a rush of good feelings when they eat a little chocolate. There are studies which show dark chocolate is a heart healthy food. Now as News On 6’s Rick Wells reports, a new study indicates chocolate can improve blood flow to the brain and perhaps improve learning and memory.

Several ladies are enjoying a little chocolate at KoKoa at 3410 South Peoria in Tulsa. “We are solving the world's problems while eating chocolate." Sounds like they might be making some progress. We have heard in recent years about research, which suggests that chocolate, particularly dark chocolate is heart healthy.

New research suggests the same compounds, called flavanols, which help chocolate help the heart, also make it good brain food. "Now we are learning that flavanol rich cocoa may improve learning and memory by improving or maintaining healthy brain function," Harold Schmitz Ph.D., chief science officer at Mars, Inc. Well, that's good news for chocolate lovers. “This is my blend which I've created," says Steven Howard. He owns KoKoa. Howard is a chocolate chef, a choclatier.

Howard's looked at this new study and says the higher the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate the better. "The darker the chocolate, at least 70 percent and above, the healthier it is." The study says those flavanols in the cocoa help produce a gas, which relaxes blood vessel, walls and increases blood flow and oxygen in the brain.

Our lunch ladies were way ahead of me. "Dark chocolate is very healthy, so we come here for health purposes." Heart healthy and brain healthy. How about that, KoKoa, a health food store.

For more information about KoKoa, logon to their website at www.kokoachocolatier.com.