Dark chocolate lowers blood pressure, as reliable studies have shown. Despite many previous doubts and confirmations, it is now generally accepted that the consumption of dark chocolate is good for your health.
The world consumption of chocolate is enormous: Chocolate consumption for Valentine’s Day alone is estimated at $400 million, representing 5% of annual chocolate sales worldwide. If dark chocolate is so pleasant to use, it is certainly a lucky coincidence that it also has a positive effect on reducing hypertension.
Although the interest is largely due to the conviction that eating dark chocolate lowers blood pressure, the benefits are not limited to the effect of lowering blood pressure in dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is generally beneficial for the cardiovascular system. It has been shown to reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
In any case, even a slight drop in high blood pressure significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and organ damage, as other studies have shown.
While dark chocolate is generally used, flavanol is the real active basic ingredient responsible for the recognized anti-hypertensive properties of dark chocolate. Flavanols are polyphenols that represent a large group of compounds found in plants.
Dark chocolate lowers the blood pressure thanks to the cocoa base. Cocoa and other plants such as apples, grapes, tea and cherries contain flavanol. This is why each of these plants also has advantages in lowering blood pressure. That is why green tea in particular is a popular remedy for high blood pressure.
There are reasons why dark chocolate is particularly good and widely advertised when it comes to lowering your blood pressure. Cocoa, the main ingredient of dark chocolate, has the highest concentration of flavanol. That’s what made dark chocolate famous for its high blood pressure and general cardiovascular benefits.
Other reasons, which may not be medical but are important, are commercial in nature. The chocolate and cocoa industry is huge and powerful, and billions of dollars are spent on the promotion of its products. For such a rich industry, it is also easy to maximise the health benefits of each of its products. Apart from commercial reasons, dark chocolate is certainly tasty. You can’t force him to eat!
Studies confirming that dark chocolate lowers blood pressure
A considerable number of studies have been carried out to investigate the health benefits of dark chocolate. These studies were motivated by the possibility that dark chocolate and other flavanol-rich products could offer a viable alternative to nutritional interventions for the treatment of hypertension.
A study published by BioMed Central in 2010 analysed data from 1955 to 2009 on studies investigating the effect of cocoa as a food or drink on systolic (higher number) and diastolic (lower number) blood pressure. The study attempted to determine the effect of cocoa on the human body in two weeks.
The study concluded that cocoa consumers had experienced a decrease in systolic hypertension or diastolic prehypertension. Interestingly, this particular study suggests that there is a limit to the amount of cocoa in dark chocolate that can lower blood pressure.
The researchers found that cocoa with a high flavanol content could not lower the average blood pressure below 140 mm Hg for systolic values or 80 mm Hg for diastolic values. This study provided scientific evidence that dark chocolate lowers blood pressure, albeit to a certain extent.
Another study by cardiologists and medical researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), published in 2010 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), showed that the high concentration of cacaooflavanols in dark chocolate contributes to low blood pressure.
Flavanols not only lowered the blood pressure, but also kept the blood vessels healthy. In order to maintain the protective effect of flavonols, 375 mg of flavonols should be consumed.
Although it is now recognized that dark chocolate lowers blood pressure, researchers are still struggling with the standard or optimal dosage to ensure optimal health benefits.
How dark chocolate lowers blood pressure
Just as dark chocolate lowers blood pressure, the UCSF researchers also lowered blood pressure in their research. They believe that the flavanols in dark chocolate increase the circulation of angiogenic cells in the blood.
Angiogenesis is the process by which new blood vessels are formed from existing vessels. This helps to repair damaged vessels and keep them healthy. This is useful for the endothelium, the layer of material cells that cover the inner parts of the blood vessels.
The endothelium plays an important role in blood vessel dilation, which is the dilation or relaxation of the blood vessels, leading to a drop in blood pressure.
Cocoa may look like a simple ingredient in dark chocolate, but what happens to it once it enters the body as flavanol undoubtedly has considerable advantages and is applauded by people with high blood pressure.
Photographic credits : Gotchocolate.com
Best dark chocolate for lowering blood pressure
There are many brands of dark chocolate. This is understandable, because the industry is huge and very profitable. It is therefore not surprising that there is a general interest in knowing which dark chocolate is best for lowering blood pressure.
The simplest and quickest way to determine this is to determine the cocoa content of the advertised dark chocolate. The best dark chocolate for lowering blood pressure should have the highest concentration of flavanols if we can determine the flavanols from the cocoa component of the chocolate.
Good brands of dark chocolate have a cocoa content of up to 101%, and this trend continues on a sliding scale of only about 60%. If you are looking for dark chocolate to lower your blood pressure, we advise you to use organic brands. It also means it would be at a higher price.
Eating dark chocolate lowers blood pressure. It’s a scientifically proven fact. The degree to which the blood pressure has been lowered and the right dose of dark chocolate to lower blood pressure has not yet been normalised.
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