Teasing your sweet tooth may lower your blood pressure
A small, daily bite of dark chocolate, rich in chemical substances known as polyphenols, may slightly lower your blood pressure, suggests a study in the July 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. For 18 weeks, 20 men and 24 women, ages 56-73, with prehypertension (blood pressures of 130/85 to 139/89 mmHg) or stage one hypertension (blood pressures of 140/90 to 160/100 mmHg) were given 6.3 grams (less than a quarter-ounce) a day of polyphenol-rich dark chocolate or matching amounts of white chocolate, which has no polyphenols. While white chocolate caused no blood pressure changes, dark chocolate reduced the average systolic pressure (the top number) by 2.9 mmHg and the average diastolic pressure by 1.9 mmHg, without causing weight gain or other adverse effects, the study found.
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