Dark Chocolate: Phenethylamine, a chemical found in dark chocolate releases the hormone serotonin, which stimulates the mood and the desire for physical contact. So dig in to a bar of dark chocolate, or convert it into a fresh fruit fondue.

While we all know that dark chocolate is good for health, did you know that it has more antioxidants than acai berries and blueberries?[1]

Dark chocolate reduces insulin resistance that is a risk factor for chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. The antioxidants present in dark chocolate prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, help increase HDL (good) cholesterol and decrease LDL (bad cholesterol).[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 67,8]

A study found that eating dark chocolate twice a week reduced the risk of developing calcified plaque in the arteries by 32 percent.[9] Another study found that people who ate dark chocolate more than five times a week reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 57 percent.[10]

Dark Chocolate To Lower Blood Pressure
Flavonols present in dark chocolate stimulate the lining of the arteries (endothelium) to produce nitric oxide gas that reduces resistance to blood flow and lowers blood pressure.[11] Further clinical trials show that dark  chocolate improves blood circulation and effectively lowers blood pressure.[12,13,14,15]

How To Take It
Bite into a piece of dark chocolate every day to keep your blood pressure under control.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page and read about other Natural Remedies here.

Read More:
7 Herbal Remedies To Keep Your Blood Pressure In Check
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7 Natural Remedies To Keep Your Blood Pressure In Check

1. Crozier SJ, Preston AG, Hurst JW, Payne MJ, Mann J, Hainly L, Miller DL. Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products. Chem Cent J. 2011 Feb 7;5:5. doi: 10.1186/1752-153X-5-5. PubMed PMID: 21299842; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3038885.

2. Baba S, Natsume M, Yasuda A, Nakamura Y, Tamura T, Osakabe N, Kanegae M, Kondo K. Plasma LDL and HDL cholesterol and oxidized LDL concentrations are altered in normo- and hypercholesterolemic humans after intake of different levels of cocoa powder. J Nutr. 2007 Jun;137(6):1436-41. PubMed PMID: 17513403.
3. Wan Y, Vinson JA, Etherton TD, Proch J, Lazarus SA, Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of cocoa powder and dark chocolate on LDL oxidative susceptibility and prostaglandin concentrations in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Nov;74(5):596-602. PubMed PMID: 11684527.

4. Hirano R, Osakabe N, Iwamoto A, Matsumoto A, Natsume M, Takizawa T, Igarashi O, Itakura H, Kondo K. Antioxidant effects of polyphenols in chocolate on low-density lipoprotein both in vitro and ex vivo. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2000 Aug;46(4):199-204. PubMed PMID: 11185658.

5. Rein D, Lotito S, Holt RR, Keen CL, Schmitz HH, Fraga CG. Epicatechin in human plasma: in vivo determination and effect of chocolate consumption on plasma oxidation status. J Nutr. 2000 Aug;130(8S Suppl):2109S-14S. PubMed PMID: 10917931.

6. Osakabe N, Baba S, Yasuda A, Iwamoto T, Kamiyama M, Takizawa T, Itakura H, Kondo K. Daily cocoa intake reduces the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein to oxidation as demonstrated in healthy human volunteers. Free Radic Res. 2001 Jan;34(1):93-9. PubMed PMID: 11235000.

7. Grassi D, Desideri G, Necozione S, Lippi C, Casale R, Properzi G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Blood pressure is reduced and insulin sensitivity increased in glucose-intolerant, hypertensive subjects after 15 days of consuming high-polyphenol dark chocolate. J Nutr. 2008 Sep;138(9):1671-6. PubMed PMID: 18716168.

8. Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension. 2005 Aug;46(2):398-405. Epub 2005 Jul 18. PubMed PMID: 16027246.

9. Djoussé L, Hopkins PN, Arnett DK, Pankow JS, Borecki I, North KE, Curtis Ellison R. Chocolate consumption is inversely associated with calcified atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries: the NHLBI Family Heart Study. Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;30(1):38-43. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2010.06.011. Epub 2010 Jul 22. PubMed PMID: 20655129; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3005078.

10. Djoussé L, Hopkins PN, North KE, Pankow JS, Arnett DK, Ellison RC. Chocolate consumption is inversely associated with prevalent coronary heart disease: the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. Clin Nutr. 2011 Apr;30(2):182-7. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2010.08.005. Epub 2010 Sep 19. PubMed PMID: 20858571; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3039704.

11. Schewe T, Steffen Y, Sies H. How do dietary flavanols improve vascular function? A position paper. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2008 Aug 15;476(2):102-6. doi: 10.1016/j.abb.2008.03.004. Epub 2008 Mar 10. PubMed PMID: 18358827.

12. Hooper L, Kay C, Abdelhamid A, Kroon PA, Cohn JS, Rimm EB, Cassidy A. Effects of chocolate, cocoa, and flavan-3-ols on cardiovascular health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Mar;95(3):740-51. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.023457. Epub 2012 Feb 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 22301923.

13. Taubert D, Roesen R, Schömig E. Effect of cocoa and tea intake on blood pressure: a meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Apr 9;167(7):626-34. PubMed PMID: 17420419.

14. Fisher ND, Hughes M, Gerhard-Herman M, Hollenberg NK. Flavanol-rich cocoa induces nitric-oxide-dependent vasodilation in healthy humans. J Hypertens. 2003 Dec;21(12):2281-6. PubMed PMID: 14654748.

15. Taubert D, Roesen R, Lehmann C, Jung N, Schömig E. Effects of low habitual cocoa intake on blood pressure and bioactive nitric oxide: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2007 Jul 4;298(1):49-60. PubMed PMID: 17609490.

Armed with a PhD in Alternative Medicine, a graduate degree in Biotechnology, an MSc, and an MBA in Clinical Research and Clinical Pharmacology, Dr Jonathan is a certified practitioner of Alternative Medicine and is actively involved in patient education initiatives. He is also the author of the bestselling book, Outsmart Diabetes. Dr Jonathan loves to share his passion for herbs and other alternative medicinal practices with others through his writing.