Jun 24, 2019 | Updated: 08:43 AM EDT

Dark Chocolate Can Help Lower Blood Pressure, Studies Show

Apr 16, 2019 10:04 AM EDT

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As everyone knows, high blood pressure can be the cause of numerous serious health complications, especially if it is untreated. For those who have it worse, they can experience thickening and hardening of their arteries which can lead to a heart attack or a stroke, and sometimes both.

High blood pressure does not target a certain age group, everyone can experience it especially those who have an unhealthy lifestyle. Some may get medication to control it and lower their blood pressure. Some can control and prevent their blood pressure from rising by exercising, eating a low-fat and balanced diet and by getting a consultation from their physician and nutritionist.

Cutting your salt intake can also be very helpful and it is one of the best strategies to lower your blood pressure as salt has been proven to raise your blood pressure. But unknown to most people, there is another food that is proven to lower blood pressure, and that is dark chocolate.

In a study conducted in 2010, there were 15 experiments and trials suggested that chocolates that are cocoa-rich can reduce blood pressure. Although the study did state that you should choose what kind of dark chocolate you must eat.  

The dark chocolate that you are planning to consume must be of the highest quality, it should contain at least 70% cocoa. If it does not reach 70% then it is ineffective. It is also important to take note that you must eat just an ounce of dark chocolate every day to get its benefits.

Dark chocolate can also help those with cholesterol problems. The researchers from Harvard found evidence from a small decrease in bad cholesterol or LDL and a massive increase in good cholesterol or HDL. Researchers also wrote that there is an evidence that consuming cocoa can improve a lot of important cardiovascular risk factors and it can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack.

Chocolate with a high cocoa solid proportion, like dark or unsweetened chocolate, contains more flavonoids. Dark chocolates contain 46 to 61 mg of catechin which is a type of flavonoid and it can be found in just 100 grams or about an ounce of dark chocolate. Milk chocolate contains just 15 to 16 mg.

Another advice is that dark chocolates should be eaten in moderation as the modern manufacturing of chocolates changed the proportions, there are more sugar and less cocoa and it could result in weight gain and it could increase your risk of heart disease. You must choose chocolates with the highest cocoa amount and lowest sugar amount.

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