Tag Archives: blood circulation

Dark chocolate can help improve blood circulation

Cocoa powder and dark chocolate can help improve blood circulation, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The Swiss group, Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest maker of chocolate products, which supplies food companies such as Nestle and Hershey with cocoa and chocolate products, said on Tuesday that it had provided evidence to EFSA that eating 10g of dark chocolate or its equivalent in cocoa that were high in flavanols helped blood flow.

If the European Commission signs off on the EFSA ruling, the company and its customers would have the right to use the health claim on packaging for products such as chocolate drinks, cereal bars and biscuits, the company said.

“As the first company receiving such a health claim, we see new market potential both for us and for our customers,” Chief Executive Juergen Steinemann said in a statement.

chocolate_healthy_heart_lancastria

Dark chocolate

For the clinical studies it conducted to back up the claim, Barry Callebaut said it used a special process to make cocoa products that maintains the flavanols, which are usually mostly destroyed during conventional chocolate-making.


In an opinion posted on the EFSA website, a scientific panel concluded that a cause and effect relationship had been established between the consumption of cocoa flavanols and the maintenance of normal vasodilation, which aids blood flow.

A string of scientific studies in recent years have shown the potential for health benefits from eating chocolate. Research last year suggested it might be associated with a one-third reduction in the risk of developing heart disease.

The European Union has been clamping down on health claims for food products, approving only some 200 out of over 2 500 applications earlier this year and giving food companies until the end of 2012 to remove any rejected claims.

Pomegranate juice can help boost the libido

IF music be the food of love, then pomegranates would appear to run a very close second.

Men and women who drank a daily glass of the fruit’s juice for a fortnight experienced a surge in the hormone testosterone, which increases sexual desire in both genders.

The latest achievement claimed for pomegranates, which are already acclaimed as a superfood, will be welcome among those who would prefer a natural aphrodisiac.

The study, by researchers from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, involved 58 volunteers aged between 21 and 64.

By the end of the fortnight both sexes had seen ‘significantly increased’ testosterone levels.

For men this affects traits such as facial hair, a deep voice and greater sexual urges.

It is also produced in female adrenal glands and ovaries, raising a woman’s sex drive and strengthening bones and muscles.

Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice

As a side effect, increased testosterone can help raise mood and memory and even relieve stress such as ‘pre-match nerves’ or stage fright, said the study.


Previous research on pomegranate juice has found it full of antioxidants which can help ward off heart diseases and help blood circulation.

The superfood’s ingredients also help fight various forms of cancer, alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis and cure stomach upsets and even conjunctivitis.

The Edinburgh research measured testosterone levels, blood pressure and, using a scientific scale, levels of 11 emotions including fear, sadness, guilt, shyness and self-assurance.

Testosterone levels increased between 16 per cent and 30 per cent among the subjects, while blood pressure plummeted.

Positive emotions rose and negative feelings fell.