If your Valentine’s day If you plan a romantic walk later, it is advisable to fill those thermos with hot chocolate before going out. New research suggests that botanical compounds in sweets can actually facilitate walking in some elderly people who are actually suffering from circulation problems. Reuters reported.
Because flavonols in dark chocolate and raw cocoa have been linked to improved blood flow in some animal studies, researchers have asked whether adults with peripheral artery disease (PAD) can achieve the same results. I wanted to check.
PAD is a narrowing of the peripheral arteries of the legs, stomach, arms, and head. According to the American Heart Association. Symptoms can include leg cramps, pain or fatigue during walking or climbing, and hip muscles, but can be confused with something else. Patients with PAD are at increased risk for coronary artery disease, heart attack, or stroke. If left untreated, the condition can cause gangs and amputations, Alert American Heart Association
Risk factors for PAD include age, high blood pressure or cholesterol, smoking, and diabetes. Lifestyle changes and medications can help you manage your condition.
In a study published in the journal Circulation Research, 44 elderly people with PAD were asked to drink chocolate-flavored beverages three times a day for six months. Half of the groups were given cocoa rich in flavanols, while the other groups were not. Hershey Company provided cocoa for research and Mars Inc. was involved in the analysis. Reuters reported.
In a six-minute walk test, those fed flavonol-rich cocoa advanced about 60.4 feet before the study began. Those who were not given flavonol-rich cocoa walked less than approximately 79.4 feet in a 6-minute test at the end of the study.
Researchers stated that the difference in distance was sufficient to be considered a significant improvement.
“There are few treatments to improve gait performance in patients with PAD,” said Mary McGrae McDermott, principal research author at Northwestern University. Told Reuters.
However, dietitians who were not involved in the study cautioned that before going to the store and increasing inventory, many products had high sugars and low flavonols, so be sure to check the ingredients.
“To maximize the health benefits of cocoa, you can use sugar-free cocoa powder to make your own hot cocoa,” said Samantha Heller, a New York University Langone health nutritionist who was not involved in the study. Told Reuters.
Reuters contributed to this report.