Nepal | July 10, 2020

Why your Valentine might want hot chocolate for that walk on the beach

Share Now:

Drinking cocoa rich in flavonols – plant compounds also found in fruits, vegetables and tea – might make walking easier for some older adults with poor circulation, a study suggests.

Flavonol-rich dark chocolate and unprocessed cocoa, similar to unsweetened cocoa powder used for baking, have been linked to improved blood flow and increased walking ability in a small number of preliminary studies in animals and humans.

For this small study, researchers wanted to see if cocoa might benefit people with peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition caused by hardening arteries that reduces blood flow in the legs and makes walking even short distances painful.

“Few therapies are available for improving walking performance in people with PAD,” said lead study author Dr Mary McGrae McDermott of Northwestern University in Chicago.

Researchers asked 44 older adults with PAD to drink a chocolate flavored beverage three times daily for six months – half of them got flavonol-rich cocoa and half did not.

In six-minute walking tests, people in the cocoa group went 18.4 metres (60.4 feet) further at the end of the study than they did at the beginning. An improvement of at least 12 metres can make a meaningful difference in patients’ daily lives, researchers note in Circulation Research.

Walking ability typically declines over time for people with PAD. Without cocoa, participants walked 24.2 metres (79.4 feet) less in six-minute tests at the end of the study.

Even though participants were not told whether they drank real cocoa or a substitute, it is possible they tasted the difference and that this impacted the results, said Dr. Joseph Ladapo, a researcher at the University of California Los Angeles who was not involved in the study.

“Exercise is obviously not as attractive or sexy as cocoa, but it’s inexpensive, more beneficial, and doesn’t come with harmful calories or sugars,” Ladapo said.

Most store-bought chocolate bars and hot cocoa mixes are processed to remove bitterness, which also reduces flavonols, said Samantha Heller, a nutritionist at New York University Langone Health who was not involved in the study.

“To maximize the health benefits of cocoa, you can make your own hot cocoa by using unsweetened cocoa powder,” Heller said.

The Hershey Company supplied cocoa for the study and Mars Inc. contributed to the analysis.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Silva shines as Man City thrash Newcastle 5-0

MANCHESTER: David Silva scored one goal and made two more as Manchester City put on a passing masterclass to overwhelm Newcastle United with a 5-0 Premier League victory on Wednesday. Having announced that he will leave the club at the end of this season after a 10-year spell, the 34- Read More...

Salah double keeps Liverpool on track for points record

BRIGHTON: Mohamed Salah scored twice as champions Liverpool moved on to 92 points with a 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Wednesday. The victory kept Liverpool on target to secure a record Premier League points tally, with Juergen Klopp's side needing nine from Read More...

Adequate social security key to minimise impact of COVID-19, says PM Oli

KATHMANDU, JULY 8 Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said protection of the most vulnerable, including migrant workers and those in informal sectors, and provision of adequate social security and health care was the key to minimise the impact of COVID-19. Addressing virtual ‘Global Summit on COVID Read More...

Suarez scores as Barca condemn Espanyol to relegation

Barca beat Espanyol 1-0 in city derby Suarez won the match with his 195th goal for the club Espanyol were relegated after 26 years in La Liga  BARCELONA: Barcelona kept up their pursuit of leaders Real Madrid in the La Liga title race by beating city rivals Espanyol 1-0 at home Read More...

Coronavirus pandemic affects Nepal’s sovereign credit rating process

KATHMANDU, JULY 8 The country’s sovereign rating assessment is likely to be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Though the government had awarded Fitch Ratings, a United States-based international credit rating agency, to study and confirm Nepal’s sovereign credit rating in December l Read More...

Human rights awareness, Human rights education

‘Respect rights of vulnerable people’

KATHMANDU, JULY 8 International partners, civil society and humanitarian organisations have been working together to support the Government of Nepal’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, read a joint press statement issued by United Nations, various embassies and international agencies in Nepal to Read More...

SP-N notifies EC of Giri’s expulsion

KATHMANDU, JULY 8 Samajwadi Party-Nepal today wrote a letter to the Parliament Secretariat stating that it had expelled lawmaker Sarita Giri from the House of Representatives. Assistant Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Dasharath Dahamala said his office would inform Speaker Agni Pra Read More...

Man held for swindling job aspirants of hefty amount

Swindler allegedly offered ‘fake offer letters’ to victims  KATHMANDU, JULY 8 Police have arrested Bijay Pandey, 34, on charge of swindling lakhs of rupees from at least seven persons on the pretext of securing them employment at World Health Organisation’s Nepal office. Pandey, who ha Read More...