Another Reason to Love Chocolate (As if we need one)
Eating dark chocolate appears to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Researchers at the University of L’Aquila in Italy gave 20 volunteers (each with
untreated high blood pressure) a three-and-a-half-ounce bar of dark chocolate each
day. After two weeks, the participants had experienced what was considered to be a
“clinically meaningful decline” in their blood pressure.

However, “this study is not about eating more chocolate,” study author Dr. Jeffrey
Blumberg cautioned. “It suggests that cocoa flavonoids appear to have benefits on
vascular function and glucose sensitivity.”

So don’t start loading up on chocolate just yet because it is a long way from being
considered a health food. Unfortunately, the chocolate most of us consume has
been robbed of its flavonoids, the component believed to confer the most health
benefits. (It’s also what makes chocolate so bitter, which is why confectioner’s
work so hard to get rid of the stuff.)

Blumberg, a nutrition professor at Tufts University, and his colleagues urge
moderation and suggest consuming a diet rich in flavonoids from additional
sources, such as green and black tea, apples, grape juice and red wine.

Source: Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2005; 46, 398–
405

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