With some of life’s pleasures diminished by illness, it’s good to know that an optimal mesothelioma diet could include some dark chocolate – with the doctor’s approval, of course. Food is more than nutrition. It is part of our identity and culture, according to anthropologists. Enjoying a favorite treat can make us feel happy and is nice way to stay connected to fond memories.
Dark chocolate also may help improve blood circulation, scientific evidence suggests. Several studies have reported that dark chocolate may improve artery flexibility. Now a new study finds that eating dark chocolate but not milk chocolate helped people with peripheral artery disease. Basically, components in dark chocolate seem to help blood circulation which can be important to a mesothelioma patient. Long periods of bed rest or sitting can cause circulation to become sluggish. Diminished blood circulation can contribute to feelings of fatigue and coldness, especially in hands and feet.
Because the study was small with only 20 participants and the results were modest with dark chocolate consumers showing only 11% improvement over milk chocolate consumers, head researcher Lorenzo Loffredo, MD, of Rome’s Sapienza University, and colleagues called the research a proof-of-concept study. Reporting their findings online in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the scientists state that bigger studies with longer follow-up times are needed to confirm the findings.
Once a day the study subjects were given 40 grams of chocolate which sounds like a lot but is only 1.4 ounces. Their blood test samples showed 11% increases in favorable blood chemicals two hours after they ate dark chocolate but not milk chocolate.
Officials from the American Heart Association and Harvard Medical School spoke critically of the study in the medical newsletter MedPage Today, saying that quitting smoking and exercising are better ways to improve blood circulation. But interestingly, real physicians writing comments applaud the dark chocolate findings as finally giving them something pleasant and doable to offer their patients. For mesothelioma patients who don’t smoke and may not have the option of exercise, a little dark chocolate could be a healthful treat for their mesothelioma diet.
One physician in the comments section presented this list of levels of flavonols, the healthful component, in foods including dark chocolate based on milligrams per kilogram:
Dark chocolate 460–610
Green tea 100–800
Black tea 60–500
Red wine 80–300