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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Science shows what drink can help you in times of stress

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When you go through stressful situations and they advise you to drink a cup of chocolate to calm down, it can be the most useful advice you receive, because literally a scientific study has proven that regular consumption of cocoa protects the heart from stress thanks to its properties.

It is known that mental stress can lead to various diseases, including cardiovascular ones, but while there are a number of methods to mitigate mental stress, this discovery may be one of the best ways to help your health.

The study by a team of scientists from the University of Birmingham was randomized and included 30 healthy people who were given cocoa high in flavonoids, a group of molecules found in some foods, 90 minutes before taking a mental stress task that lasted eight minutes.

The scientists measured forearm blood flow, cardiovascular activity at rest and during stress, and also assessed blood vessel function for up to 90 minutes after experiencing mental stress. They then noticed that blood vessel function was less affected when people consumed cocoa that was high in flavonoids.

“Flavanols are extremely common in a wide range of fruit and vegetables. By utilizing the known cardiovascular benefits of these compounds during periods of acute vascular vulnerability (such as stress) we can offer improved guidance to people about how to make the most of their dietary choices during stressful periods, “explained Dr. Catarina Rendeiro, lead author of the study published in the journal Nutrients.

Researchers believe that this discovery will help people include flavonoids in their diet to obtain the necessary amount that each body requires through other foods, including cocoa.

“Our findings are significant for everyday diet, given that the daily dosage administered could be achieved by consuming a variety of foods rich in flavanols – particularly apples, black grapes, blackberries, cherries, raspberries, pears, pulses, green tea and unprocessed cocoa. This has important implications for measures to protect the blood vessels of those individuals who are more vulnerable to the effects of mental stress,” concluded Rendeiro.

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