The good news keeps coming for chocolate lovers.
New research from Germany adds to evidence that the evidence that antioxidants in dark chocolate can help slightly lower blood pressure. This time the research focused on the impact of a small amount of the dark favorite, a bit more than one Hershey’s Kiss is enough to measurable lower blood pressure.
This means that chocolate loves can get a health benefit without loading up on the calories that come with the sweet. Of course the issue becomes, can you eat just one?
Small amounts of antioxidant-rich cocoa in dark chocolate “may be a promising behavioral approach to lower blood pressure in individuals with above-optimal blood pressure,” according to the researchers
In the new study, published in Journal of the American Medical Association, for 18 weeks 44 adults between the ages of 56 and 73 with high blood pressure levels were split into two groups. Half were given just calories a day of dark chocolate containing antioxidant polyphenols. The other group was given 30 calories a day of white chocolate, which is similar to dark chocolate but without the polyphenols.
By the end of the study, the blood pressure showed a small but clinically significant improvement for the dark chocolate group, but not for the white chocolate group. Importantly, none of the study participants had risk factors for heart disease other than high blood pressure levels. , None were smokers, overweight, diabetic, high cholesterol, or kidney disease.