10. Dark chocolate is one of the best anti-inflammatory foods
Cocoa and dark chocolate contain high concentrations of flavanols which act as strong antioxidants. Cocoa flavanols have been associated with numerous health benefits such as improving blood flow decreasing blood pressure, and having anti-inflammatory properties.
A study has shown that regular consumption of small doses (20 g every 3 days) of dark chocolate is associated with lower levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein.
In another study, participants who drank a beverage every day made with 40 grams of unsweetened cocoa powder had reduced levels of adhesion molecules, which are inflammatory markers associated with atherosclerosis.
What to do: Add a couple of tablespoons of unsweetened dark cocoa powder to your morning oatmeal for an anti-inflammatory and dietary fiber combination. Choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa, read labels and keep an eye on calories. The higher the nonfat cocoa solid content, the higher the flavonoid content will be. Percentage of nonfat cocoa solids found in some chocolate products: 82% in unsweetened cocoa powder, 23% in dark chocolate, 6% in milk chocolate.
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