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People over 100 (👴👵) years old share their secrets to longevity. (HINT: Dark chocolate can help 👀)

by Ramon E Martinez May 09, 2021

dark chocolate benefits and longevity

Who doesn't dream about growing old, surrounded by loved ones, spending loud summers and cozy winters, watching the kids become adults? As a physician, I find that taking care of our health is the best shortcut to a long and happy life.

I am continually trying to incorporate habits that benefit my health. As a real dark chocolate lover, I couldn't leave my favorite snack aside. 

Today I'm sharing what I've found about how dark chocolate could improve longevity. Let's dive in.


LEARNING BY EXPERIENCE - That is from the oldest of the old


In 2017, The New York Times produced a journalistic note with the voices of some supercentenarians (people that are 100 years old or more!).


"Morning Walks and Chocolate" divulged Goldie Michelson as one of his secrets to living more than 110 years. 


The article explained these people rarely face long-term illness or disability before they die. Many of them have attributed this benefit to their habits, such as Michelson, a resident of Worcester, Massachusetts. 


She was, in 2016, the oldest living American at 113 (almost 114) after revealing to thousands of curious people the secret of her long-running dark chocolate life! 


We can speculate that these longevity benefits come from dark chocolate in preventing heart disease (HERE) or keeping people active by improving memory and concentration (Article here).


YOUR HABITS MATTER - Trusting the Experts


"The Longevity Guru," Valter Longo, director of the Institute of Longevity at the University of Southern California, recommends a radical change in diet to prevent early aging and disease. 


In an interview for El País (and in many of his meal plans), Vongo places a strong emphasis on the importance of snacking. He recommends consuming a glass of coconut milk without added sugars and a bar of nuts, cereals, and dark chocolate (preferably 70% cacao) like our darkest chocolate combination.


FACTS SUPPORTED BY SCIENCE - The best evidence!


Antioxidants are the key when talking about aging because these chemicals prevent the cells from damaging.

Harvard University recently published an article explaining the importance of cacao's flavonoids protecting the heart. Flavonoids promote nitric oxide production (NO) in the cell lining, helping to relax blood vessels, improve blood flow, and reduce blood pressure. Flavonoids can also increase insulin sensitivity, which may reduce the risk of diabetes.

By the way, dark chocolate does it best! Compared to milk chocolate, dark chocolate contains up to 2-3 times as many antioxidants. I highly recommend choosing chocolates with more cacao percentages to enjoy more of their benefits.

 

FUN FACT: Chocolate is an ancient superfood: In the article from Harvard, they expose the case of the Kuna Indians, an isolated tribe living on Panama's Caribbean coast. Hypertension was extremely rare in this group, even among the most advanced ages. When the kunas migrated to urban contexts and changed their diets, their rates of hypertension increased.

What does this have to do with dark chocolate? They traditionally had a cacao drink daily! They drank more than five daily cups of self-grown or Colombian cacao (cocoa) powder rich in flavonoids, something they stopped doing when migrating to the city. 

 

MY OPINION...


As a physician specialized in endocrinology, I see how small changes in habits significantly improve people's lives. In this article, I review a few of the many I've read through my career and chocolate journey.

I believe in the dark chocolate benefits for the heart, brain, and skin. Though there are no conclusive results about longevity yet, I'm definitely giving it a try. I'm looking forward to providing you an update on how it went when I reach the age of 101. 

Meanwhile, I include my chocolate dose as a snack or a teaspoon of cacao powder in my coffee daily. If you're up to do likewise, check out the dark chocolate collection in our store and place an order of delicious and healthy snacks https://clubchokolate.com/collections/dark-chocolate 

Ramón

Sources: 

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/es/2017/11/21/espanol/la-ciencia-podria-haber-descubierto-el-secreto de-la-longevidad.html
  2. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/dark-chocolate/
  3. https://smoda.elpais.com/moda/guru-la-longevidad-la-clave-vivir-mas-anos-esta-comer-mejor/



Ramon E Martinez
Ramon E Martinez

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