Your heart is under attack… right now.
It’s being assaulted from ALL SIDES by toxins, oxidation, inflammation, and everything else thrown your way each day.
But one of your heart’s worst enemies is stress. And I don’t just mean the kind of explosive stress that’s triggered by a traffic jam, a fight with your spouse, or the latest gloom-and-doom news story on TV.
We all know that stuff is bad for us.
But the biggest threat is much subtler than that. It’s the day-to-day stress that’s become so common we’re practically used to it and simply live with it. Because that is what’s invisibly pounding on your heart so much of the time.
Now, new research reveals a way to pound back.
You can basically give your heart a suit of armor. (I’ll show you how in just a moment.) And that armor can help shield your ticker from the sharp drops in function that often accompany stress.
That includes the BIG STUFF that sends your blood pressure soaring and makes you feel ready to BURST. Plus, it protects against the little day-to-day stressors that can wear you down over time and put your heart at risk.
And that… in turn… could help head off heart attack, stroke, and more.
Reduce stress-linked strain on your heart
The new study zeroes in on plant flavanols. These potent compounds are found in some of your favorite natural foods.
Flavanols are already known to improve circulation, protect cardiovascular health, and enhance brain function, when you get them at the right levels. In fact, in one study they TRIPLED brain oxygenation levels. Click here for the details.
And now it looks like we can add “fight stress” to that impressive list. But the real question is what those right levels are. And the new study might have just given us the answer.
The researchers tested 150 mg of flavanols delivered via a chocolatey drink. Which I’ll admit sounds delicious. But don’t break out the hot cocoa just yet, because as you’ll see in a moment, that’s NOT the best way to get these potent compounds.
The volunteers were given the flavanol-powered drink. Then 90 minutes later, they were put through a test literally designed to stress them out.
This wasn’t the explosive “nut screaming at you in traffic” kind of stress, of course. (Can you imagine having doctors in lab coats insulting you and calling you names?) It was more akin to that day-to-day stress I mentioned earlier.
The volunteers were asked to compete in a numbers game to win a gift card worth a little less than $15. So yeah, it was stressful in the way any competition can be.
But two-thirds of the volunteers also said they even enjoyed the activity. So it certainly wasn’t the kind of stress that caused any veins to bulge out in the participant’s foreheads.
FLAVANOLS help SHIELD your heart
Still, ANY stress can raise heart rate and blood pressure, impair blood vessel function, and send stroke and heart attack risk rising. And that’s what happened here.
Well, except when folks had the flavanols, that is. The volunteers who downed the chocolatey flavanol-filled drink had fewer impairments and better blood flow DESPITE the rising stress levels.
Plus, they had better endothelium function. And that’s critical because the endothelium is the all-important lining of the blood vessels that keep everything moving along.
The flavanols were clearly helping to protect the heart. And that means a lower risk of major cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack.
Now, all the headlines I’ve seen on this study focus on that cocoa drink I mentioned earlier. But this was NOT your typical chocolate cocoa mix.
While cocoa is a solid source of flavanols, the drink was enhanced with EXTRA compounds to deliver much higher levels than what you’d get from chocolate alone in most cases.
In other words, don’t go loading up on the Hershey bars or Swiss Miss.
Instead, aim to get a wide range of flavanol-rich foods each day. Some of the best include red grapes, berries, apples, pears, tea, and… yes… even a little dark chocolate, too.