We have known for a long time that you have to cut back on sweets if you want to lose weight, maintain a healthy heart and live as long as possible. Right? However, new evidence shows otherwise, at least where dark chocolates are concerned. It seems that high blood pressure and even heart disease may be helped by dark chocolate rather than exacerbated by it.
When reading this information don’t let it go to your head too much. Yes, dark chocolates have been shown to be beneficial. But that doesn’t mean you should eat too much of it or that you have free reign over white chocolate or even milk chocolate. It’s dark chocolates we are talking about here.
In several studies dark chocolate has lowered high blood pressure in many participants. That is great news and while chocolate is enjoyable to eat it is also a lot healthier than prescription drugs. Remember, though, that you can’t just eat all the chocolate you want. You can eat some and if you have mild high blood pressure and are of a certain age then the dark chocolate will more than likely help you. But, you must balance your caloric intake and know that if you are eating dark chocolate that you will need to cut calories elsewhere.
Believe it or not, but dark chocolate also has antioxidants. However, you must eat it alone. Don’t accompany the dark chocolate with a big glass of milk or else you will eliminate the antioxidant effect. Antioxidants are great because they attack and eliminate free radicals, the culprits of many diseases including heart disease. A study with 13 individuals ages 55-64 who had mild high blood pressure took part in a study. Half were given a 100 gram dark chocolate candy bar and the other half a 100 gram white chocolate candy bar. They had to eliminate 480 other calories from their diet to make up for eating the chocolate. Over the course of the two week study the individuals who ate the dark chocolate saw a significant drop in their blood pressure. In fact, the average was five systolic points and two diastolic points.
The individuals who ate white chocolate did not see the same results. Another study used the same amount of people but in the 25-35 age range. They ate 100 grams of dark chocolate one day, 100 grams of dark chocolate with a small glass of milk another day, and finally 200 grams of milk chocolate. The study found that eating dark chocolate by itself results in the most total antioxidants in the blood. Many of us prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate because it is smoother, sweeter and not as bitter. But, it is dark chocolate that makes the health difference and it is still sweet and good. So, why is dark chocolate the answer? It’s because it contains cocoa phenols, which lower blood pressure. If you want to try this remedy then cut out bad things in your diet like colas, carnival foods, and the like to make up for the 500 plus calories in a bar of chocolate. Then you can have your chocolate and enjoy the cardiovascular benefits! Remember to take good care of your teeth as well when eating all that chocolate because tooth health has a direct connection to cardiovascular health. Now, go buy you some dark chocolate.