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(JERUSALEM POST) — There seems to be more than a bit of truth to the quote that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but the claim that “a balanced diet is chocolate in both hands” is excessive. Research conducted in Tokyo has found multiple health benefits from eating foods rich in the flavonoid b-type procyanidin – including chocolate and apples – if consumed in the right amounts.

Researchers at the Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT) in Tokyo shed light on how an optimal intake of B-type procyanidins – a class of polyphenols found abundantly in foods like cocoa/dark chocolate, apples, grape seeds, blueberries, cranberries, tea and red wine – can have significant health benefits. Several studies have established the benefits of these micronutrients in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and strokes. These procyanidins are also successful in controlling hypertension, glucose intolerance and dyslipidemia – an imbalance of blood fats such as cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein.

Proanthocyanidins were discovered in 1947 by French scientist Jacques Masquelier, who developed and patented techniques for the extraction of oligomeric ones from pine bark and grape seeds. Cocoa beans contain the highest concentrations, while apples contain on average per serving about eight times the amount of proanthocyanidin found in wine.

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