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Try Dark Chocolate to Lower Blood Pressure — an article on the Smart Living Network
June 3, 2008 at 4:23 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Try Dark Chocolate to Lower Blood Pressure

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If someone told you that chocolate is good for you, how would that make you feel? Weve always been told to stay away from sweets because they are not good for us and can rot our teeth and put extra pounds on our thighs, but when someone tells us chocolate can be good for us, we suddenly feel confused about our favorite sinful delight. Dark chocolate, in particular, is loaded with antioxidants called polyphenols, which contain the flavonoids that are present in dark chocolate. Flavonoids are also present in many fruits, grains and vegetables. These antioxidants are believed to help lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease. Several studies have been conducted to prove the beneficial effects of dark chocolate and have proven that there is a reduction in both systolic (the top number) blood pressure and diastolic (the bottom number) blood pressure. These results are similar to the effects that ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers medications have on blood pressure. You dont want to stuff your cupboards full of chocolate, though. Although dark chocolate has its advantages, it is full of sugar, fat, and calories. The ideal amount for you to eat each day is one gram although some may say up to three grams a day is safe. There is an advantage if you replace that milk chocolate candy bar with a dark chocolate candy bar. If you must have chocolate, then you can simply replace your usual chocolate with dark chocolate. Now doesnt it feel nice to know that something we enjoy can lower the risk of stroke by 20% and your blood pressure by 10%? Of course it does. Dark chocolate also gives you a dose of magnesium and fiber, but keep in mind that all of this applies to dark chocolate and not any other chocolate. White chocolate has no cocoa in it, so it lacks the flavonoids that dark chocolate has. Milk chocolate is also packed full with many other ingredients and is comprised mostly of milk. This takes away any of the benefits that existed before the chocolate went through before it became milk chocolate. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, is closer to the original product than milk chocolate. It does have to be processed in order for it to be edible, but it doesnt have all of the junk in it that milk chocolate does. Although it isnt as tasty, it is still chocolate and is still good for you. With the information that dark chocolate has, blood pressure and heart disease preventing antioxidants, we see more products coming into our stores such as dark chocolate syrup and dark chocolate cake mix. We are now learning through all of the new nutritional information that is available to us that just because something tastes good doesnt mean it has to be bad for us. We are so accustomed to the belief that a food must taste horrible in order for it to be good, well thanks to new research we can say goodbye to horrible tasting health food and hello to a more tasty diet. Sources: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56036 http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/news/20070409/chocolate-lowers-blood-pressure http://www.azcentral.com/health/wellness/articles/0720chocolate-ON.html

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