Dark Chocolate Does Show the Ability to Drop Blood Pressure
Wonderful news… dark chocolate has been shown in many test studies to effectively reduce blood pressure!
Scientific journals now report that dark chocolate is good for you. Dirk Taubert, MD, PhD, and others from the University of Cologne, Germany, examined the effects of regular low amounts of cocoa on blood pressure. Taubert's team’s test group had just been diagnosed with mild high blood pressure - on average, systolic blood pressure (the top number) of 153 and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) of 84.
Every day for two weeks, they ate a 100-gram candy bar and were asked to balance its 480 calories by not eating other foods similar in nutrients and calories. Half the patients got dark chocolate and half got white chocolate.
Those who ate dark chocolate had a significant drop in blood pressure (by an average of 5 points for systolic and an average of 2 points for diastolic blood pressure). Those who ate white chocolate did not have a significant drop in BP.
“Whereas long-term adherence to complex behavioral changes is often low and requires continuous counseling, adoption of small amounts of flavanol-rich cocoa into the habitual diet is a dietary modification that is easy to adhere to and therefore may be a promising behavioral approach to lower blood pressure in individuals with above-optimal blood pressure. Future studies should evaluate the effects of dark chocolate in other populations and evaluate long-term outcomes,” the authors conclude.
In other words, you can council a patient to make lifestyle changes that will help to control their high blood pressure, but they may find those changes difficult to maintain. Having a little dark chocolate regularly might be a bit easier to swallow.
Another study shows that eating dark chocolate not only decreases blood pressure but improves insulin sensitivity in healthy people. Impaired insulin sensitivity is a major risk factor for diabetes and reduces the body's ability to process blood sugar (glucose) effectively.
Researchers say the results show that the antioxidant-rich compounds found in cocoa and dark chocolate -- known as flavonoids -- have a healthy effect on blood vessels as well as glucose metabolism.
Still, that doesn’t mean you should go on a chocolate binge. While eating more dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure, you will have to balance the extra calories by eating less of other things.
To avoid the additional calories that come with chocolate, try a great natural formula, Blood Pressure Naturals (click here to view). This proven, powerful blood pressure formula contains 14+ natural ingredients. It is an excellent choice for getting your blood pressure readings into the normal blood pressure range (without expanding your waistline!).