dark cocoa

Cocoa: A Sweet Way to Lower Blood Pressure

by Kelley Herring on December 6, 2012

More good news for chocoholics: dark chocolate, a good source of powerful antioxidant polyphenols can help reduce blood pressure.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association included six men and seven women aged 55-64 with mildly high blood pressure. On average, the participants’ systolic blood pressure (the top number) was 153 and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) was 84.

Every day for two weeks, the study participants ate a 100-gram piece of dark chocolate. They balanced its hefty 480 calories by not eating other foods similar in nutrients and calories. Half of the participants received dark chocolate, while half got white chocolate.

At the end of the study, those who ate dark chocolate saw a significant drop in blood pressure (by an average of 5 points for systolic and 2 points for diastolic blood pressure). Those who ate white chocolate experienced no benefit.

To enjoy the health benefits and delicious flavor of dark chocolate, you don’t need to eat a 480 calorie candy bar.¬†Try stirring a¬†tablespoon of dark cocoa (80 calories) into your coffee or enjoy a low-glycemic, cocoa-packed Chocolate Bliss Cake from Wellness Bakeries.


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About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

Taubert D, Berkels R, Roesen R, Klaus W.Chocolate and blood pressure in elderly individuals with isolated systolic hypertension.JAMA. 2003 Aug 27;290(8):1029-30.

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