I don't know about you, but I really do love chocolate and rarely need an excuse to indulge. Since there is new research suggesting that dark chocolate (my favorite) helps lower blood pressure I might not need to rationalize my small indulgences any longer.
German scientists found that eating a tiny square of dark chocolate every night before bed, lowered blood pressure. I just want to reiterate, that it is a "tiny square" of dark chocolate, not an entire bar of chocolate. Participants in the study ate one square -- 6.3 grams and 30 calories -- of a Ritter Sport Halbbitter, which is 50 percent cacao, every day for 18 weeks. The cool thing about this new study is that participants ate regular, ol' dark chocolate not some fancy pants, scientifically distilled, flavonoid enhanced cocoa.
It is thought that chocolate lowers blood pressure when cocoa flavanols spur the release of nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow. I think it is super cool that my chocolate fix is helping to keep my blood pressure regulated. I think it is important to mention, when dealing with high blood pressure, chocolate may help but it is not the only answer. It is just one element folks can use to manage hypertension.