Taking a major step into the limelight over the past decade has been dark chocolate. Eating a small piece of it each day, high in cocoa, is very good for you. And it’s best for your heart.
That is the reason why candy-bar shelves in supermarkets have changed recently. Alongside the well-known brands sit rectangular bars featuring a high percentage of cocoa. The package makes no mistake that it is dark chocolate.
A brand-new study is worthy of note. Researchers have found that if you eat dark chocolate, it will lower your blood pressure as well as if you took medication. This is what’s called a “review,” meaning they looked at a ton of studies in the past. That way, you can compare results and possibly find an answer.
Originally there were 3,000 studies involved, from which they pulled the best-quality ones to examine. It wasn’t only dark chocolate, but also black and green tea being examined for their effect on blood pressure.
In general, eating an abundance of vegetables and fruit will shield your heart and circulatory system from trouble. One of the myriad ways this happens is that polyphenols within the produce control blood pressure. Two of the most potent sources of such polyphenols, at least in the U.S., are tea and chocolate.
While tea showed no effect on blood pressure, the review study found that dark chocolate did lower its levels. Four of five quality studies proved this beyond a reasonable doubt. The conclusion states that eating three and a half ounces of dark chocolate lowered blood pressure as well as “beta- blockers”, drugs used for that same reason.
Dark chocolate actually contains a lot of healthy ingredients, including a batch of antioxidants. The flavonoids keep your blood vessels healthy and relaxed. Head-to-head with white chocolate, the latter had no effect. Milk chocolate doesn’t work either: the proteins in dairy interfere with your body’s absorption of the polyphenols.
Other, smaller studies have shown that dark chocolate may lower cholesterol and help prevent heart disease. So why bit eat a square or two of dark chocolate each day? But don’t eat more than that, as the sinful treat is still high in fat.