According to a study released by the European Society of Cardiology, dark chocolate enriched with authentic extra virgin olive oil is associated with “an improved cardiovascular risk profile”.
Of course, this is the kind of scientific breakthrough we’ve all been waiting for - so we were intrigued to learn more. Conducted over the course of 28 days, researchers issued each participant with a 40 gram serving of chocolate (about the size of a standard Hershey’s bar) per day. The chocolate bars were prepared including either a serving of polyphenol-rich apples, or a healthy dose of flavorful EVOO.
The servings were issued in random order over the course of the experiment, during which participants were observed closely. Researchers carefully tested and recorded the patients’ metabolic changes, including monitoring their lipid profile, blood pressure, and levels of circulating EPCs (endothelial progenitor cells), which are critical to the body’s ability to repair and maintain its blood vessels and lymphatic system.
The study found that patients receiving the flavorful EVOO-enriched chocolate combination had “significantly increased” levels of EPC and high-density “good” cholesterols, as well as “significantly decreased” blood pressure, and other benefits.
Researchers were previously aware that a reasonable consumption of chocolate might help reduce blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease (in part, due to its antioxidant-rich flavonol content). And, while the heart-healthy benefits of authentic extra virgin olive oil are also widely acknowledged, this study offers important evidence that the effects of these great foods may be reinforced when combined - as well as holding significantly higher potential value to patients when compared to other polyphenol-rich combinations.
As one researcher summed up “Our study suggests that extra virgin olive oil might be a good food additive to help preserve our ‘repairing cells’, the EPC.” Continued research may lead to good news for those at risk - as well as for those of us who love to indulge, while supporting and celebrating our good health.
Want to test the health benefits out for yourself? Try out this amazing recipe for homemade dark chocolate nut-butter cups, made with your favorite authentic EVOO. If you’re looking for a heart-healthy, flavorful EVOO - look no further! Simply pour more Bellucci.