Chocolate is good for the eyes
Bitter and semi-bitter delicacy improves circulation and mood, in addition to combating free radicals. Understand.
The traditional Easter celebration with eggs and chocolate candies can improve the protection of our health in this pandemic. That’s because, studies at Harvard University show that one of the properties of chocolate is to improve circulation by stimulating the production of nitric acid and containing polyphenols that keep our arteries flexible, in addition to lowering the bad cholesterol that forms plaques in our bloodstream. Our eyes have more final arteries than a hair. That is why scientists say that dark or semi-bitter chocolate with at least 60% cocoa is good for the eyes. According to the ophthalmologist, Leôncio Queiroz Neto, from the Penido Burnier Institute does not mean that you can overdo the consumption. “The difference between poison and medicine is the dose”, he stresses. Four squares / day, or 70% grams is ideal for you to include chocolate in your diet and your body will be left with only the good part of the delicacy.
The doctor points out that it is the minimum concentration of 60% cocoa that guarantees a high concentration of polyphenols and maintains the flexibility of the arteries. “This makes it improve all circulation, including the retina,” he explains. The result is a decreased risk of AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration) and cardiovascular disease.
To get an idea of the impact on health, Queiroz Neto says that today AMD affects 3 million Brazilians over 65 and is identified by the WHO (World Health Organization) as the largest global cause of irreversible blindness. The warning sign of this disease is to see tortuosity in straight lines, he stresses. Therefore, for people over 65 years of age, it is recommended to do a simple test, fixing one eye and then the other in a door frame. If you see the sinuous outline you should see an ophthalmologist immediately. Vision loss due to macular degeneration, he explains, is caused in 90% of cases by the rupture of new vessels that form in the retina. The application of laser to dry these new vessels and intravitreal injections by the ophthalmologist can prevent blindness.
The expert says that cocoa is also rich in flavonoids, a potent antioxidant that fights the formation of free radicals and postpones the formation of cataracts, opacification of the lens that despite being treatable accounts for almost half of blindness in Brazil. Our organism, he comments, produces free radicals all the time. Therefore, there is no way to avoid cataracts. But if we use a mechanism that eliminates them, we avoid the early degeneration of the cells. When a cataract is formed, there is no medicine that returns the transparency to the lens of the eye. The only treatment is surgery in which the lens, the natural lens of the eye, is replaced by an intraocular lens to prevent loss of vision.
Risk of diabetic retinopathy falls, says research
Queiroz Neto points out that the result of an Italian study carried out at the University of L’Aquilia with type 2 diabetes, showed that the consumption of a bar of dark chocolate / day decreased by almost 30%. the insulin resistance developed by the cells of those who have the disease. It means that food also prevents diabetic retinopathy in people who have lived with type 2 diabetes for more than 10 years. The sign of retinopathy is the formation of spots in the vision. This happens due to the accumulation of glycemia in the bloodstream that obstructs the retinal vessels and leads to the formation of new vessels. Treatment is similar to macular degeneration – laser application and antiangiogenic injections.
The expert points out that genetic differences, metabolism, absorption capacity and other factors make people react differently to the same food. Still, he concludes, proof of the properties of cocoa suggests that chocolate can work as an ally in eye health.
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