Chocolate and wine go great together and they also add up to a great combination that keeps the heart healthy.
If you live in an area where smog in abundant, you might be grateful to hear that chocolate and wine are a great combination that acts as a defense against it. According to new research, a diet that is rich in wine, chocolate, vegetables and fruits can help to product the heart against disease caused by air pollution.
After ingesting these flavonoids which are antioxidants found in plant, elderly men were less likely to experience issues with their heart.
Lead researcher Jia Zhong, a doctoral student at the Harvard School of Public Health said, “People who eat around 100 grams of blueberries every day will find themselves better protected from smog-related heart disease.”
“We as individuals have no regular means to protect ourselves from air pollution. Here we have a potential avenue where we can protect ourselves.” said Zhong’s mentor, Dr. Andrea Baccarelli, an associate professor of environmental epigenetics at the Harvard School of Public Health.
When the heart is subjected to smog, it begins to malfunction. The heart beat begins to lose its rhythm, which has led to heart disease and heart attacks among elderly people.
Zhong said. “We were looking if there were any factors that could make the harm less significant.”
The flavonoids that are found in plants are a strong antioxidant that helps fight against free radicals in the body that leads to cell damage and various illnesses.
“But the air pollution and genetics had a far weaker effect in men who consumed high levels of flavonoids in their diets, the researchers found. Flavonoids may help protect against pollution-related heart risk by helping regulate the body’s immune system response.” Zhong stated.
Baccarelli said, “Diet makes a difference. The amount of flavonoids found in chocolate or blueberries can reprogram our genes. However, this is not a way to drink a ton of wine or eat as many chocolate bars as you like. If you eat too many calories, that’s not going to be good for your heart,”
Dr. Russell Luepker, a professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health agrees with Baccarelli, “There are a whole bunch of links here that are speculative, and a study that talks about associations can’t fill in these speculative links. This is only a first step. We need a lot more before we start telling people to do different things.”