So, why not celebrate the heart healthy benefits of chocolate?
According to the American Heart Association, “dark chocolate may reduce blood pressure and improve insulin resistance.” Flavonoids are antioxidants naturally found in many plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, tea, red wine, and chocolate. A heart healthy diet includes all these flavonoid-rich foods.
A study found that participants who ate a daily serving (3.5 ounce bar) of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate had a 12 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and a 9 mmHg decrease in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) after 15 days. Those who ate the dark chocolate also experienced a significant decrease (about 10%) in LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol).
The important thing to note is that the chocolate consumed by the individuals in the study was a very dark chocolate. There are several options available for dark chocolate now, most of which have a bitter taste. Look for a dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao in it and enjoy a piece a day for your heart!
I found another interesting article on dark chocolate written by the American Heart Association here.