• Lowering blood pressure is an issue that patients with high blood pressure face every day
  • There are foods that could help in lowering the numbers
  • One of these is a very delightful snack that people love

The condition is oftentimes called the silent killer because it causes no symptoms until after it has done considerable damage to the arteries and heart. If left unchecked, a blood pressure of 180/120 or higher can result in an 80% chance of death in a year. The average survival rate is around 10 months. This is why it is crucial to maintain normal blood pressure readings.

To help manage the condition, you should be extra cautious when consuming foods and drinks. Good thing there is a particularly tasty treat that you can eat to help manage your condition.

dark chocolate
Pictured: Representative image of dark chocolate. AlexanderStein - Pixabay

Tasty Treat That Helps

Studies show that when consumed in moderation, dark chocolates can help in lowering your blood pressure readings. The reason behind this is that dark chocolate, and non-alkalized cocoa powder has sufficient flavonoid content that can cause blood vessels to open. Medical and health experts agree that to have the best effect, use non-alkalized cocoa powder because it is has a high flavonoid content and has no added sugars.

According to Dr. Karin Ried of the University of Adelaide in Australia, flavanols have been proven to boost endothelial nitric oxide formation. This improves vasodilation and, as a result, may lower blood pressure readings.

There is one dark cloud, however, as some studies show a conflicting result as to the effect of eating chocolate. While some studies say that dark chocolates can lower readings in those who suffer from high blood pressure, the results could be adverse for those who have normal blood pressure.

Findings of the Study

Researchers of the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health analyzed the effects of flavonoid-rich foods on cardiovascular risk. The goal of this study is to examine the efficacy of various flavonoid-rich foods on different cardiovascular diseases and its risk factors, which include blood pressure.

They observed that the main focus of attention has always been the effects of flavonoids from cocoa and soy. Researchers say that studies in the future should also focus on other subclasses that were commonly consumed.

In another study conducted by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that in the short term, cocoa improved a series of markers of heart health. This included lower blood pressure. They also found that dark chocolate helps in reducing cholesterol.