Show your heart some love on Valentine’s Day with dark chocolate!
Is chocolate your heart’s desire? Well, research shows chocolate can love your heart back. Eating a small dark chocolate bar (25g) every day for 8 weeks significantly decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure in individuals with diabetes and hypertension. This is great news for chocolate lovers! But not so fast with the white chocolate, as it did not produce the same beneficial results.
The chocolate bars used in the study contained 83% cocoa solids and 450 mg flavonoids. Flavonoids are plant-derived polyphenols with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers. Cocoa, which is rich in flavonoids, protects your blood vessels by increasing the availability of nitric oxide to help them relax. If you plan to show your heart some love by adding dark chocolate to your day, remember to mind your calories. Make some room in your calorie budget to enjoy the blood pressure-lowering effects of dark chocolate without it going to your waistline.
Rostami, A., Khalili, M., Haghighat, N., Eghtesadi, S., Shidfar, F., Heidari, I., Ebrahimpour-Koujan, S., & Eghtesadi, M. (2015). High-cocoa polyphenol-rich chocolate improves blood pressure in patients with diabetes and hypertension. ARYA Atherosclerosis, 11(1), 21–29. Retrieved January 20, 2022 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26089927/.