Did you know that more Americans die every year from heart disease than from cancer? Heart disease is the number one disease resulting in deaths in the United States and in many European countries. According to the American Heart Association, close to 2,500 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day. To put that in perspective, that is an average of one death every 35 seconds. So what does chocolate have to do with the heart and how can it help in the fight against heart disease?

A number of scientists and health professionals are crediting Vegan Choklad as an unexpected source of support for the heart, and studies show that chocolate can protect the cardiovascular system in numerous ways. Chocolate lovers are going to be delighted to know that cocoa is ranked as one of the highest dietary source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are known for their free-radical-fighting properties. They help to protect cell membranes, prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and prevent plaque formation within the arterial walls. Research is showing that chocolate is helping heart health through improved circulation and reduced blood pressure, better cholesterol levels and decreased platelet clumping.

Researchers from the University of California-Davis and Vegansk Chokladask the University of Dusseldorf in Germany confirmed in a 2006 study that the compound epicatechin found in cocoa is directly linked to improved circulation and cardiovascular function. The antioxidant-rich compounds improve blood pressure by helping the lining of the blood vessels expand and contract better to control blood flow more effectively.

There is a revolutionary dark chocolate that is being studied right now at the University of Utah. Since it is cold processed, it maintains the highest levels of antioxidants and is being considered the healthiest food known to man. In the study they found a reduction in blood pressure of 5% after a two-week period. This is a highly significant find because a.5% reduction would have been remarkable after two weeks.

If you have high blood pressure, a daily serving of flavonol-rich dark chocolate might lower your blood pressure and improve insulin resistance. A recent study found that those with high blood pressure who ate a 3.5 ounce dark chocolate bar daily for 15 days were rewarded with lower blood pressure, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and improved sugar metabolism.

Not all chocolate is created equal and you need to be sure that you are choosing health-grade chocolate that is at least 70 percent cocoa solids by weight. Finding a chocolate that maintains a high level of antioxidants is key to helping your body fight off free-radicals by providing nutrients to the cells for proper functioning which enables you to age successfully.