People with peripheral artery disease (PAD) face a life-threatening dilemma.
PAD causes artery blockages in the legs. This can lead to severe pain while walking.
But guess what the most effective treatment for PAD is?
When PAD patients stop walking because of the pain, their condition gets worse. They already have a high risk for heart disease. But without exercise, their chance of having a heart attack or a stroke becomes even greater.
New research provides a way out of the PAD dilemma. It shows that cocoa may be the key. But not just any kind of cocoa…
The study was published in the journal Circulation Research. Researchers recruited older people with PAD. They had half consume a drink made with unprocessed cocoa. They drank it three times daily. The other subjects drank a placebo.
PAD is a progressive illness. It gets worse over time. But after six months of drinking cocoa, subjects got better instead of worse. They could walk up to 46 yards farther in six minutes. They had improved circulation in their calves and better muscle function.
Meanwhile, the placebo group’s condition went downhill. They ended up walking 26 yards less in six minutes.
How does cocoa help PAD?
Like dark chocolate, unprocessed cocoa is rich in flavanols. These are antioxidants with significant health benefits.
One of the main flavanols in unprocessed cocoa is epicatechin. It improves blood flow and muscle health. And it increases mitochondrial activity. Mitochondria, which are damaged by PAD, provide energy to cells.
Dr. Mary McDermott was the lead author. She said the cocoa didn’t just boost walking ability. It also improved “overall skeletal muscle health.”
Dr. Naomi Hamburg of the American Heart Association said, “We know that exercise therapy helps people with PAD walk farther.” She added that “cocoa may turn out to be a new way to treat people with PAD.”
Someday, “we may be able to write a prescription for chocolate for our patients with PAD,” said Dr. Hamburg.
Cocoa: A Natural Treatment for PAD
PAD is a widespread condition. About 8.5 million Americans suffer from it. Drinking hot cocoa is a simple, natural way to treat PAD.
But you can’t use typical cocoa mixes. They contain milk chocolate, which doesn’t have anything near the amount of necessary flavanols.
Instead, purchase unprocessed cocoa powder. This is the powder from roasted cocoa beans without any added ingredients. It’s available from health food stores, some grocery stores, and online retailers.
You’ll sometimes see it called cacao powder. Look for organic versions.
Natural cocoa powder has a very strong, almost bitter chocolate favor. But it will taste fine if you sweeten it. Just don’t use sugar. Instead, use a natural sugar substitute such as stevia or monk fruit drops.
You can mix cocoa powder and a sweetener with either milk or water. Drink three cups a day to follow the study’s protocol.
If you’re like the people in the study, you’ll soon find that you’ll be able to walk better with less pain…and your condition will get better instead of worse.
Editor’s Note: Independent Healing readers recently discovered the best way to get fast results from resistance exercise. To find out more, go HERE.
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