Heart Health: Health Benefits and Risks of Chocolate

Heart Health: Health Benefits and Risks of Chocolate

You don’t have to feel guilty the next time you indulge in chocolate. Chocolate has many health benefits, even if it can cause weight gain.

Theobroma cacao seeds are used to make chocolate. Its origins date back to Mesoamerica’s Olmec civilization.

The discovery of the Americas by Europe made chocolate very popular worldwide.

Because of its rich and sweet flavor, chocolate has become a top-rated food product.

What effect does chocolate have on our health? Below, the weight loss clinic in Houston will discuss the effects chocolate has on our health.

Quick facts about chocolate

These are the key points to remember about chocolate. The main article provides more information.

  • Consuming chocolate has been linked to hypertension, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions for a long time.
  • High levels of antioxidants are believed to be found in chocolate.
  • A few studies suggest that chocolate may lower cholesterol and protect memory from decline.
  • The calories in chocolate are high.
  • If you are trying to lose or maintain weight, chocolate should be consumed in moderation.


Are there any health benefits to chocolate? Because of its high sugar and fat content, chocolate is often criticized. Consuming chocolate has been linked to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease.

But, the Netherlands Journal of Medicine has found some positive results from a review of chocolate’s effects on health.

The authors mention the discovery that cocoa (the key ingredient in chocolate) contains biologically active phytochemicals.

This has influenced people’s opinions about chocolate and stimulated research into the effects of chocolate on aging and conditions like oxidative stress, blood pressure regulation, and atherosclerosis.

The antioxidant properties of chocolate may offer a variety of health benefits. The more cocoa in dark chocolate, the better. Although dark chocolate may contain less fat or sugar, it is still essential to read the label.

These are some of the benefits that chocolate can bring:

  • Lowering cholesterol
  • preventing cognitive decline
  • Reduce your risk of developing heart problems

Important to remember that these possible health benefits were only found in single studies. To confirm that chocolate can improve health, more research is required.

Additionally, chocolate bars don’t contain just cocoa. You should also consider the risks and benefits of other ingredients like sugar and fat.

1) Cholesterol

One study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests that chocolate intake might reduce low-density cholesterol (LDL) levels, also known as “bad cholesterol.”

Researchers determined if chocolate bars containing cocoa flavanols and plant sterols (PS) affect cholesterol.

According to the authors, “Regular intake of chocolate bars containing PS or CF as part of a low-fat diet may help support cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol levels and improving blood pressure.”

2) Cognitive function

Harvard Medical School scientists suggest that two cups of hot cocoa per day can help maintain brain health and decrease memory loss in the elderly.

Researchers found that hot chocolate increased blood flow to the brain’s most important areas.

Lead author, Farzaneh A. Sorond, said:

“Because different brain areas require more energy to accomplish their tasks, they also need more blood flow.” This is known as neurovascular coupling and may be necessary for diseases like Alzheimer’s em>

A 2014 lab experiment revealed that lavado (a cocoa extract) might decrease or prevent nerve damage in Alzheimer’s patients. This extract may help to slow cognitive decline symptoms.

A 2016 study published in Appetite found that chocolate consumption at least once a week could increase cognitive function.

3) Heart disease

According to BMJ research, chocolate consumption could lower your risk of developing heart disease by up to one-third.

According to their findings, higher chocolate consumption may be associated with a lower risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases.

These results require further experimental research to prove that chocolate consumption is beneficial.

4) Stroke

Canadian scientists found that chocolate-eating people were 22 percent less likely than others to suffer a stroke in a study of 44,489 participants. People who suffered a stroke and ate chocolate regularly were 46 percent less likely than those who did not.

Another study was published in the journal heart in 2015. It examined the effects of diet on long-term health for 25,000 men/women.

According to the findings, consuming 100g (g) of chocolate daily could be associated with a lower risk for stroke and heart disease.

5) Growth and development of the fetus

According to a study presented at Atlanta’s 2016 Pregnancy Meeting, 30g of chocolate per day may benefit fetal growth.

6) Athletic performance

According to The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, a small amount of dark chocolate may increase oxygen availability during exercise training.

Light vs. dark chocolate

Milk chocolate manufacturers claim their product is healthier because it contains milk. This milk chocolate has both calcium and protein. Dark chocolate supporters highlight their product’s higher levels of iron and antioxidants.

What are the nutritional differences?

Below are some examples of nutrient levels for dark and light chocolate.

NutrientLight (100g)Dark (100g) Energie 531 kcal 556 kcal Protein 8.51 g 5.54 g Carbohydrate 58 g 60.49 g Fat 30.57 g 32.4 g Sugars 54 g 47.56 g Iron 0.91 mg 2.13 mg Phosphorus 206 mg 51 mg Potassium 438 mg 502 mg Sodium 101 mg 6 mg Calcium 251 mg 30 mg Cholesterol 24 mg 5 mg.

The darker the chocolate is, the more cocoa in the bars. This will also mean that the bar contains higher levels of antioxidants.

However, the nutritional content of commercially-available chocolate bars can vary depending on which brand you choose. To know the exact nutrients, it is best to read the label.

Spirulina: Eye Health, Eye Health, and Oral Health

Spirulina: Eye Health, Eye Health, and Oral Health

Spirulina, a blue-green alga, is an option for people to take as a dietary supplement. Spirulina is considered a superfood because of its nutritional content and health benefits.

Spirulina is an excellent dietary supplement for vegetarians and vegans because it contains vitamins and protein.

Research suggests it has antioxidant and inflammation-fighting properties and the ability to help regulate the immune system.

In this article, the Houston weight loss doctor examines 13 health benefits spirulina may bring to your diet.

1. Great nutritional profile

Spirulina can be used to increase the intake of vitamins and protein.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that one teaspoon or seven grams (g) of dried spirulina contains is sufficient.

  • 20.3 calories
  • 4.02 g protein
  • 1.67g carbohydrate
  • 0.54 g fat
  • 8.4 mg (mg) calcium
  • 2 mg iron
  • 13.6 mg magnesium
  • 8.26 mg of Phosphorus
  • 95.2 mg potassium
  • 73.5 mg sodium
  • Vitamin C – 0.7 mg

It also contains vitamins B6, K, thiamin, and riboflavin.

Spirulina is rich in antioxidants such as phycocyanin, a blue-green pigment.

The body produces free radicals through natural processes and exposure to harmful substances like alcohol, tobacco, and certain foods. They can cause tissue damage, inflammation, and even some cancers.

Antioxidants like those found in spirulina may help fight free radicals and protect the body from damage.

2. Eye health

Spirulina is rich in the antioxidant beta carotene. Vitamin A is converted from beta carotene by the body, which plays a vital role in eye health.

In research published in 2019, scientists gave mice a standard diet and a diet with 20% spirulina for four weeks. After that, the scientists exposed the mice for 1 hour to white light.

Spirulina was more effective in protecting the retinas and photoreceptors of mice than those that ate it. Although this suggests that spirulina may be able to protect the eyes of humans, more research is necessary.

It is important to note that nutrients can vary among products and that products used in experiments might not be the same products available to consumers. USDA found that the tested spirulina product did not contain zeaxanthin or beta carotene.

3. Oral health

Spirulina is effective in treating and preventing gum disease and other problems related to oral health.

In 2013, scientists treated 64 sites of gum disease with scaling and root planing and applied a spirulina gel to 33 sites. All sites showed improvement in pocket depth after 120 days. However, pockets treated with spirulina had a significantly higher rate.

Leukoplakia refers to a condition in which lesions develop in the mouth. This is usually caused by tobacco use. It can sometimes become cancerous. Forty-four patients with leukoplakia were studied in a small study. They consumed 1 g per day of spirulina. Twenty participants reported that their lesions disappeared after 12 months. Nine participants discovered their lesions had returned after stopping taking the supplements for one year.

Different types of algae may benefit oral health because they have antimicrobial properties. They could help treat or prevent dental caries and other fungal and bacterial infections.

4. Losing weight

According to a 2020 review, spirulina could be a good option for reducing:

  • Body mass index (BMI).
  • Body fat
  • waist circumference
  • Appetite
  • Blood lipids

One reason could be that spirulina ingredients prevent the small intestines from absorbing as many fats.

However, more research is needed to confirm these benefits, including more extensive clinical trials.

5. Improve your gut health

Animal studies have shown that spirulina may help improve gut health as we age. An older study on mice has shown that spirulina may help preserve healthy gut bacteria as we age.

Spirulina is low in fiber, so it should be eaten with other high-fiber foods.

Further research is required to determine if spirulina benefits the human gut.

6. How to manage glucose levels

Spirulina could help with blood sugar management, which is crucial for those who have diabetes. However, more research is required.

According to a 2018 review, spirulina significantly affected fasting blood glucose levels.

Researchers gave type 1 diabetic mice spirulina oral extract in a 2017 animal study. The mice showed the following results:

  • lower blood sugar
  • Higher insulin levels
  • improved liver enzyme markers

These findings suggest that spirulina may play a protective role against type 1 diabetes. However, more research is required.

7. Lowering cholesterol

Spirulina extract can help lower cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of developing heart disease.

According to a 2016 review, spirulina supplements may positively impact blood lipids. These are the fats found in the blood. Researchers found that spirulina supplements can reduce total cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), which are “bad” cholesterol, while increasing high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which are “good” cholesterol.

Researchers found that consuming 1 g of spirulina per day reduced total cholesterol by three months in a 2013 study.

8. Lowering blood pressure

Spirulina can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Spirulina was found to lower blood pressure in overweight or hypertensive people in a small study.

How can you naturally lower your blood pressure?

9. Heart disease prevention

Heart disease is linked to high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

According to 2018 reviews, spirulina may help prevent heart disease and chronic inflammation. Its effects on blood pressure, glucose, and lipid levels could explain this.

10. Increase metabolism

Spirulina can help increase a person’s basal metabolic rate. Higher metabolic rates may lead to more calories burned, which can help with weight loss.

A 2014 study found that people who consumed 6g of spirulina per day had beneficial metabolic effects. They also experienced weight loss and a better quality of life.

All of the participants had nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Further research is required to determine if spirulina can boost metabolism in those without this condition.

11. Management of allergic rhinitis

The inside of a person’s nose can swell if they have allergies to dust, pollen, or pets. This is allergic rhinitis. Some evidence suggests that spirulina may be able to reduce the symptoms of this condition.

According to a 2013 study, spirulina may reduce nasal inflammation and histamine levels. It may be more effective than a placebo for treating allergic rhinitis symptoms, such as:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • nasal congestion
  • Itching

Researchers gave 53 patients with allergic rhinitis 2 g of spirulina platesnsis per day to researchers in 2020. Others received 10 g of Zyrtec (cetirizine) per day. Although spirulina may be an alternative treatment, more research is needed.

12. Antitoxic actions

There is a possibility of getting sick from contaminated water or other pollutants in some areas. In 2006, some researchers suggested that spirulina may offer a treatment option.

A 2016 review revealed evidence that spirulina has antitoxic properties, which could make it useful in combination with other remedies for counteracting pollution like:

  • Arsenic
  • Fluoride
  • iron
  • Lead
  • mercury

Although the authors suggested that spirulina might be used in clinical treatment for poisoning due to pollutant poisonings, more extensive studies are required to confirm this.

13. Mental health support

According to a 2018 study, spirulina may be able to treat mood disorders.

Spirulina is believed to be rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce serotonin. Mental health is influenced by serotonin.

Low serotonin levels can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders. Supporting mental well-being could be as simple as taking tryptophan supplements to maintain your serotonin levels.

However, further studies are required.

Before using spirulina for mental or physical well-being, it is a good idea to consult a physician.


Spirulina, a blue-green alga product, is available.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that people have taken up to 19 g daily for a maximum of two months and as high as 10 g per person for six months.

Do not exceed the recommended dose on the product label.

Are there any interactions?

Although there is no evidence to support a safe upper intake limit for spirulina use, the NIH warns that excessive consumption can cause:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • Kopfschmerz
  • dizziness

Spirulina is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, some studies have found high levels of contaminants within spirulina products.

These can cause liver damage, vomiting and weakness, shock, and death.

Spirulina might not be safe to consume:

  • during pregnancy
  • For children
  • Multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis because it can increase immune activation
  • Before or after surgery as it can affect blood glucose levels

Talking to a doctor before taking spirulina is a good idea. They can ensure that it does not interact with any other drugs and that they are safe to use.

They should also ensure they get spirulina or other supplements from a trusted source.

The FDA has issued warnings about misleading claims regarding products sold online that contain spirulina.

Some people have had allergic reactions to spirulina. An allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis which can be life-threatening and cause anaphylactic shock. Anybody with difficulty breathing or swelling after eating spirulina should seek immediate medical attention.

How to include spirulina into your diet

Spirulina can be purchased in tablet or powder form.

People can use powdered cannabis for:

  • It can be added to smoothies to give the drink a green hue.
  • Sprinkle spirulina powder in soups and salads
  • Mix it with other healthy ingredients to make energy balls
  • Mix a tablespoon of the mixture into juices made from fruit and vegetables

You can also use spirulina in tablet form as a dietary supplement.

Questions frequently asked

These are some common questions about spirulina.

What does spirulina do for the body?

There is evidence that spirulina may have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, cholesterol-lowering, and antioxidant properties. Although it may be used to treat and manage gum disease, depression, and other conditions such as depression, more research is necessary to confirm these claims.

What does spirulina do for weight?

Research suggests spirulina may help reduce body fat, waist circumference, and appetite. This could make it a valuable part of a weight management program.

Is spirulina safe?

Always buy from a trusted source, ensure it has been tested, and follow all instructions. It might not be safe for pregnant women, children, and those suffering from an autoimmune disorder. There have been some studies that found contamination in spirulina products. This could pose a danger.


Spirulina is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, which may make it suitable for treating or preventing various diseases.

Doctors will need to do more research before recommending spirulina for any condition.

Spirulina is a natural supplement that can aid in weight loss. Because there are contamination risks, they should only buy products from reputable sources.