November 10, 2009

Chilli and Chocolate and Green Tea

Strangely, chilli and chocolate go well together with a cup of green tea, but that’s more a matter of taste than science. What science has been revealing though is how useful these are for health.

First of, chilli, in the form of a cream or lotion is useful in pain relief, has recently been used in lab conditions (on mice) to reduce the severity of heart attacks by up to 85%. The theory is that it should help in humans if the cream is applied to the chest at the first sign of an attack.

Chocolate can also help prevent a heart attack (dark chocolate that is) by lowering levels of inflammation in the body (measured by C reactive protein). 15g of dark chocolate a day also helps chronic fatigue syndrome, lower blood pressure, and even seems to be good for insulin too!

Another of my favourite daily health boosters is green tea. Plenty of high level scientific investigation is going on about green tea at the moment. Not only has it been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, it also protects against osteoporosis and diabetes. A study of 200 moderately overweight people found 2 cups of green tea a day helped reduce belly fat. Another study found green tea protecting teeth and gums from disease. Most recently green tea is being investigated as treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia of which there is no current cure.

More on chocolate can be found here:
article number 19

Dr Chris Pickard

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