In a look at some older research, there’s a possible correlation between chocolate and blood pressure, and the numbers are in your favor.
Dr Karin Ried of Melbourne’s (Australia) National Institute of Integrative Medicine, who is in charge of the new study, has looked at the decade’s worth of random, controlled trials, and found that subjects who consumed up to 100 grams of flavanol-rich cocoa products (defined as those products with 30 to 1,080 mg. of flavanols) experienced a slight drop (up to three points) in blood pressure, compared to those who ate products containing lower amounts or no flavanols. And while it was noted that the drop was not large, and it was short-lived, lasting only a few weeks, she feels that a daily dose of chocolate does have a place in everyday life.
Before you decide to switch out your daily run for a few bars of chocolate, cardiologist Dr. Karen Jackson of the University of Michigan Health Systems points to the side of caution on this new review. Most of the studies followed healthy test subjects, most of the difference in blood pressure numbers was seen in the youngest test subjects, there was no way to know if other factors played into the lowering of blood pressure among test subjects, and conversely, older test subjects may have had other underlying health issues that caused their blood pressure issues not to be remedied.
You can read more about the study here. And if your numbers need help, you can get it from these bars:
- Camille Bloch Swiss Dark Belgian (Kosher for Passover): Uses vanillin instead of the real and more expensive vanilla, and lists sugar as the first ingredient on the label. Neither is a good sign when it comes to high-quality chocolate. It’s not very sweet, but the taste isn’t very “dark” – or very good, either. There’s a little tang and a little bit of fruit, but for a product with this pedigree, you expect better.
- Hatchez 88% Premier Cru (Germany): It’s soft rather than snappy, and at such a high percentage, you expect nearly no sweetness. But it’s surprisingly pleasant to eat, especially after a heavy meal, when you just want a small bite of dessert. It’s got just a hint of sugar with a sniff of citrus.