Foxy uncovers her top tips to get 100% fit and healthy

foxy 414Roses are red, violets are blue, I despise Valentine’s, don’t you? Yep, fresh from my four-day week (courtesy of Monday’s National Sickie Day), it’s now that time of year again when us singletons (or is that self-partnered?) have to put up with all those hideously smug couples declaring undying love for each other – and filling up the local eateries with their romantic tables for two.

Still, it seems there is some surprisingly good news for anyone planning to enjoy a spot of CHOCOLATE and champagne next week, and luckily you don’t have to be in a relationship either.

You see, according to our friends over at the London Medical Laboratory, CHOCOLATE and fizz can actually be good for your heart health.

As clinical lead Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB) explains, dark CHOCOLATE made from cocoa beans contains natural, beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols. These have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, while also producing nitrous oxide in the blood, helping relax blood vessels and so reduce blood pressure.

And eating CHOCOLATE at least once a week is linked to an 8% reduced risk of heart disease, according to research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. It also found that CHOCOLATE contains heart healthy nutrients that can reduce inflammation and improve the amount of good cholesterol in the body by 10%.

Even the British Medical Journal has waded in, with a study of over 114,000 people finding that those who ate higher levels of CHOCOLATE were 37% less likely to have coronary heart disease than people who ate the least CHOCOLATE. Higher levels of CHOCOLATE consumption were also associated with a 31% reduction in diabetes and a 29% reduction in strokes.

Meanwhile, research from the University of Reading, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, suggests that two glasses of champagne a day may be good for your heart and circulation. The researchers found that drinking champagne daily in moderate amounts causes a 20% improvement in the way blood vessels function.

Again, this is down to our old friends, polyphenols. These plant chemicals are also found in the red grapes and white grapes used in champagne production. When we drink champagne, these polyphenols are absorbed into the circulation where they are able to act on the vascular system. Specifically, they appear to slow down the natural removal of nitric oxide from our blood, which ultimately improves vascular tone and circulation by 20%.

Now, if you can get those benefits from eating CHOCOLATE just once a week and drinking two glasses of champagne a day, I must be in peak condition. After all, I regularly knock back a couple of bottles of bubbly a night while stuffing CHOCOLATE down like it is going out of fashion. In fact, according to this evidence, I am 100% fit and healthy…

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