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Credit: ELLE.com

Chocolate prescription for health sounds wonderful, but scientists in Australia have found that patients usually favored boring pills over antioxidant-packed chocolate as a way to control their blood pressure.

Karin Ried, co-author of the study said, Fifty grams of dark chocolate - roughly one average-sized candy bar - containing 70 per cent of cocoa daily was less acceptable than a pill of tomato extract or placebo.

Since patients are less eager to stick with a chocolate regimen, she said it might not be practical to recommend it as long-term treatment for blood pressure.

However, consuming chocolate once in a while, or regularly does benefit health, she added.

Antioxidants present in dark chocolate can help cut down blood pressure, according to several clinical trials. One study found that even 30 calories of chocolate - a little more than a Hershey's Kiss - per day can be beneficial enough.

The findings of the recent trial conducted by Ried and colleagues involving 36 participants who were randomly prescribed dark chocolate, tomato extract capsule or a placebo daily for eight weeks discovered that while dark chocolate did have a much better effect on blood pressure than the other two prescriptions, majority of participants did not find the treat palatable.

Nearly half of those in the chocolate group found it hard to consume the dark chocolate every day, while 20 per cent said it was an unacceptable alternative for long-term treatment.

The daily pill method was considered acceptable by the participants.According to Reid, although the results did not seem to reflect the growing waistlines observed globally, there might be other reasons for the reactions.

Those reasons, according to Reid might be the strong taste or concerns about fat/sugar levels which is undesirable for a long-term treatment alternative.

Dr Suzanne Steinbaum, preventive cardiologist with Lenox Hill hospital in NYC said while chocolate is helpful in lowering blood pressure, it should not be considered as a medication.