February has always been the month of the color red. Red valentines, red roses, red hearts filled with chocolates and of course toasts with red wine. Cheers to the month of good love, good life and good health. To the point of good health, I would like to share the findings from a new study, published this month in the Journal of Nutrition that is very intriguing. The researchers, out of King’s College of London, found that dark chocolate and red wine can actually help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and even heart attacks.* (Chomp! I’m taking a bite of some 70% dark chocolate as I scribe.)
This report found that the bioactive compounds in both of these delicious foods called flavonoids were responsible for this beneficial effect. Flavonoids are the pigments in plant foods that give them their yellow, red and deep purple colors. In this case they are found in the deep dark colors of the grapes and the cocoa bean. These flavonoids also help with better circulation, decreased inflammation, decreased blood pressure and even increased memory. They also have been found to play an important role in the regulation of the hormone insulin that controls the level of glucose in our blood. Insulin is a very important regulator of good health.
Chomp! I’m taking a bite of some 70% dark chocolate as I scribe
Diabetes is a condition of insulin resistance in our bodies, which can eventually lead to a whole host of problems. Let me try to explain how this works. We eat food, we then digest it, breaking it down into glucose (sugar) which enters the blood stream. We need that sugar to get into our cells to provide them with the energy they need to function. Our cells won’t open the door to just any stranger, so our body produces friendly insulin that comes knocking on the cell door to ask it to pretty please let in the glucose. It’s a great system when it works properly. Insulin resistance (diabetes) occurs when the cell doesn’t even want to open the door for its old pal insulin. This leads the level of glucose in the blood to remain too high. What this study found is that the flavonoids in red wine and dark chocolate seem to be able to help coax the cell to open the door, allowing the glucose to come in.
It’s as if our cells will open the door if we come bearing Valentines of Red Wine and Chocolate, how very February! The main idea is that wine and chocolate in moderation can actually be good for you. So to celebrate this good news we invite you to come join us at Salty’s for a red wine toast and a treat. Pretty please!
*Read more at www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/29/us-flavonoid-diabetes.