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When it comes to heart-healthy foods, one does not include chocolates in it. The first thing that any cardiovascular expert will tell you when you are diagnosed with a heart condition is “avoid chocolates.”

CocoaVia

How would you react if you are told that chocolate can be useful for your heart? Certainly, surprised.

Well, don’t be. Mars, the chocolate maker, has come out with a product which they claim is healthy for the heart – CocoaVia.

CocoaVia is a proprietary cocoa extract laced with flavanol and plant sterols and sold as a dietary supplement that can help in healthy circulation, which in turn supports healthy brain and heart.

Available as a powder (flavored, unsweetened, or sweetened) and capsule, each serving is said to provide nearly 250 mg of cocoa flavanols.

Scientific studies have shown that cocoa flavanols do help in healthy circulation. They contain phytonutrients that are good for the human body.

Cocoa flavanols present in CocoaVia helps your blood vessels remain flexible and expand even when as you grow older.

Daily intake of flavanols is also known to promote better absorption of nutrients and oxygen by tissues and organs. This helps you remain at the top of your game, all the time.

Some Things To Remember

Intake of plant sterols is known to reduce cholesterol while flavanols are said to keep arteries flexible. But to attain this, one has to take two servings of CocoaVia daily.

This translates to an extra caloric intake of 200 calories and about 35% of the daily recommended saturated limit. This means that you need to cut 200 calories from somewhere or put in an hour of a brisk walk.

Not doing this would translate into gaining nearly 20 pounds in a year. This is enough to negate all the benefits you gained from the regular use of flavanols and sterols.

Since these have to be taken daily to get the desired benefits, consuming them in a capsule form makes more sense. Capsules don't deliver any extra saturated fat or calories.

Some Other Options

There are much better ways of taking flavanols and plant sterols. Heart-healthy flavanols can also be derived for apples, tea, red wine, raspberries, and even flavanol supplements.

Bottom Line

CocoaVia may take out the guilt from having chocolate, but then, one has to remember that it is not a health food and has to be taken in moderation after getting the go-ahead from your doctor.