Here's another exciting and unexpected reason to eat dark chocolate (which I'm doing as I type!).

Dark chocolate is emerging as one of the most valuable superfoods. One area that hasn’t received a lot of attention is dark chocolate’s power over inflammation. Recent science is beginning to identify inflammation as a cause that is involved in a surprising number of conditions.

In our upcoming book on the health properties of dark chocolate, we found three studies that uncovered early evidence that dark chocolate puts out the fire of inflammation.

And now a new study has added to the evidence. . . .

This controlled study set out to examine the role of dark chocolate on stress and inflammation. Healthy men between the ages of twenty and fifty were given either 50g of flavanol rich dark chocolate or an identical looking flavanol free chocolate placebo. Flavonoids are well known for their anti-inflammatory powers.

Two hours after eating the chocolate, the men underwent the fifteen minute Trier Social Stress Test. The Trier Social Stress Test induces moderate psychological stress by having people deliver a speech and perform mental arithmetic in front of an audience.

The flavanol rich dark chocolate exerted a significant anti-inflammatory effect. Higher levels of epichatechin, an important flavonoid in chocolate, were associated with lower stress induced inflammation.

The authors speculate that this ability of dark chocolate to prevent stress induced inflammation may be another mechanism by which dark chocolate prevents cardiovascular disease.

Brain Behav Immun 2016;pii:S0889-1591(16)30097-6

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