Sweet News for Chocolate Lovers

Do you nibble on dark chocolate every day? You may be slightly lowering your blood pressure.

A review published in the Cochrane Library found that people who eat dark chocolate or cocoa, which contain flavanols, lowered their blood pressure by a couple of points. Flavanols are believed to be responsible for the formation of nitric oxide in the body, which causes blood vessel walls to relax and open wider, reducing blood pressure.

“Although we don’t yet have evidence for any sustained decrease in blood pressure, the small reduction we saw over the short term might complement other treatment options and might contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said lead researcher Karin Ried, in a news release.

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