Eat Chocolate for Lower Blood Pressure?

September 25, 2012 by Kathy Nellor

Got high blood pressure? Try a Snickers Bar!

Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, alright maybe a lot...not to mention it's the wrong type of chocolate! German researchers report, the health benefits of dark chocolate may include lowering high blood pressure.

Small amounts of dark chocolate "efficiently reduced blood pressure," report the researchers, who included Dirk Taubert, MD, PhD, of Germany's University Hospital of Cologne.

How small is a small amount of dark chocolate? Participants in Taubert's study were limited to 30 calories per day of dark chocolate. That's roughly the number of calories in a Hershey's Kiss.

Overindulging in dark chocolate will blow your calorie budget, and packing on pounds could raise your blood pressure. So portion control will help you have your dark chocolate and reap its health benefits, the new study suggests.

A hint: Don't replace healthy foods with chocolate. Most people's diets have plenty of sweets. Switch those for “some” chocolate if you're going to try the chocolate treatment.

Tags:  chocolate, blood pressure, heart health, dark chocolate