Why you should eat chocolate
You should eat chocolate because you like it. You should eat chocolate because it can improve your cholesterol levels. You should eat chocolate because it puts you in a better mood. You should eat chocolate for lower blood pressure.
All this is true! Depending on the kind of chocolate you eat…
Eat chocolate for lower blood pressure?
The good news first of all.
Many studies now show that those who regularly eat products containing cocoa, such as chocolate, have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular problems, and often have lower blood pressure.
Cchocolate is good for lower blood pressure because cocoa contains a lot of antioxidants (including resveratrol, the type found in red wine). These antioxidants help improve blood vessel functioning and lower blood pressure, and have a number of other beneficial and protective effects on the heart and arteries, including improving cholesterol levels, slowing blood clotting, and countering inflammation.
Eating cocoa/chocolate has also been shown to lower blood sugar levels (which is very helpful in lowering blood pressure) and it’s thought its antioxidants may improve the way the body processes sugar.
And of course, cocoa is also known to affect the chemicals in our brain which affect our mood, and this is why eating chocolate can make you feel good, directly, not just because you’re enjoying the taste, the smoothness, the melting in the mouth…
(Image credits: Ainhoa I. via Flickr.com, Lee McCoy via Flickr.com )
Which kind of chocolate for lower blood pressure?
The bad news is that most commercial chocolate bars (and chocolate drinks) don’t have these beneficial effects because they don’t contain a lot of these good ingredients. So you can’t eat just any chocolate for lower blood pressure.
This is firstly because a lot of chocolate products don’t actually contain much cocoa at all.
Milk chocolate may contain as little as 10% cocoa (the minimum requirement for it to be called ‘chocolate’ in the US), which is not enough to give you any blood pressure benefits.
White chocolate contains no cocoa at all and is just fat and sugar.
So the best kind of chocolate for lower blood pressure is dark chocolate – it’s the highest in cocoa content and the richest in antioxidants and also contains the least added sugar and fat.
However, you need to pay attention to which kind of dark chocolate you buy – in the US ‘dark’ chocolate can contain as little as 15% cocoa! Choose one that’s at least 60% cocoa – the higher the percentage the better.
Raw chocolate best for lower blood pressure
The other thing you need to be aware of is that most cocoa/chocolate products on the market have been made from cocoa beans which have been fermented and roasted, processes which reduce their antioxidant content.
So for the full unadulterated benefits of chocolate for lower blood pressure, you need to go for raw cocoa products. Many health food stores stock raw cacao dark chocolate or raw cocoa powder.
You can also easily buy it online, here:
What about hot chocolate?
Drinking hot chocolate with milk is not beneficial unfortunately, as the milk interferes with your body’s absorption of the antioxidants – another reason milk chocolate is not healthy. Still, you can make hot chocolate with cocoa and water, or add cocoa to other hot drinks, like coffee.
How much dark chocolate to lower blood pressure?
Research results are somewhat mixed as to how much dark chocolate you should eat to lower blood pressure, as different studies have used different amounts of chocolate to demonstrate its health benefits.
Most recommendations are to have about one ounce (28g) of dark chocolate per day. Although one German study which found significant blood pressure-lowering effects, used just over 6g of dark chocolate a day – a quarter of an ounce.
Keep in mind that cocoa contains caffeine though, which may increase blood pressure in some people. So consider any chocolate products you eat if you’re monitoring your caffeine intake.
More ways to eat dark chocolate…
There are plenty ways you can add chocolate to your snacks and meals, as well as just eating it straight.
You can find tips on more ways to eat dark chocolate in our new ebook – see below. And if you’re not so keen on dark chocolate, you might still find some of these useful for getting its benefits without its strong taste.
… and more ways to lower your blood pressure naturally (the easy way)
Of course there are other factors beyond diet (like fitness and stress) that affects your blood pressure. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broad approach, using natural home-based remedies to cover all possible causes.
This guide will help you do that. It contains a simple and proven strategies to lower your blood pressure and keep it low through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.
It guides you through these in nine easy-to-follow steps. These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.
Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).
Click on the link below for more information:
P.S. This guide shows you how to lower your blood pressure permanently and naturally without side-effects or complications.
Follow each step to get your blood pressure back in balance.
Choose between a wide range of delicious foods that reduce your blood pressure. Include a number of mental and physical exercises in your schedule for both relaxation and invigoration.
Following this guide will reduce, and in time, eliminate your need for blood pressure lowering medications.
This is a guide for good healthy living and will be beneficial for all – even if you don’t currently suffer from high blood pressure.
To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.