A new study shows that Cocoa is beneficial to the flora of your gut. The daily consumption of cocoa for 4-weeks significantly increased levels of bifidobacterial and lactobacilli in the gut. These bacteria are the hallmark of healthy gut function and healthy nutrient absorption. Additionally, high counts of these bacteria have been associated with healthy immune function.
The researchers also saw a reduction in triglycerides (high triglycerides are associated with heart disease and diabetes), and a decrease in C-reactive protein which is a sensitive marker of inflammation associated with risk of heart attack. Several other studies in recent years have shown that regular consumption of dark chocolate can lower blood pressure.
I recommend getting powdered, unprocessed, unsweetened cocoa from your health food store. It can be easily used in smoothies and sweetened with a banana or berries for a chocolaty, health giving meal!
Read the study here.