Copper deficiency has a huge impact on heart health and most USA and Brits are copper deficient. This has become a greater problem since copper content of dairy, vegetables and meats has declined since 1940 (in line with rises in HD funnily enough). In a human copper restriction trial a reduction from 1.38 miligrams per day to 1 milligram produced heart trouble in 4 of 23 subjects including one heart attack at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Centre.
So how can we get our copper consumption up to 2 milli per day. One good source is dark chocolate 85%+ cocoa. 30 grams of the stuff per day should do it (about 3 squares). Other good sources are Beef and Lambs liver, Cashew nuts, Oysters, Shitake mushrooms, Squid and Lobster.
Copper however should be kept in balance with Zinc, together they protect against Atherosclerosis. Zinc should be around 11 mill per day for men although some feel it should be 15 mill. Best food sources are Oysters, Beef and Lamb, Spinach, Cashew nuts, Mung beans and Mushrooms. So big argument for making Cashews one of your couch nibbles.
Article here about the Zinc Copper hypothesis http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/28/7/764.full.pdf
Dark chocolate is also a rich source of Magnesium, another ingredient we have steadily been losing in our diets and which deficiency contributes to heart disease. There are 327 mg in 100g of dark chocolate, that’s 82% of your daily requirement.
Ted Ex presentation by a dark chocolate researcher here
Also this research article covers the way LDL oxidisation is lowered by dark chocolate