Before hypertensives misinterpret it, the study above though optimistic, does not categorize dark chocos as a new health food. Rather, it only seeks to identify which flavonoids can be more beneficial for hypertension.NEW YORK (Reuters Health) --- Eating dark chocolate may help lower blood pressure, boost normal responses to insulin to keep blood sugar levels down, and improve blood vessel function in patients with high blood pressure, according to new research findings.
All of these effects would be expected to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. The report in the medical journal Hypertension is just the most recent to link dark chocolate with beneficial health effects. In an earlier study, consumption of the bittersweet candy reduced blood pressure and increased insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects.
"The findings do not suggest that people with high blood pressure should eat lots of dark chocolate in lieu of other important blood pressure-reduction methods, such as medication and exercise," Jeffrey B. Blumberg (Tufts University said in a statement.
"Rather, we are identifying specific flavonoids that can have a benefit on blood pressure and insulin sensitivity."
[ Reuters Health, Jul 18 2005 ]
Over 4,000 types of flavonoids identified can be found in most fruits, vegetables, and certain beverages like green tea, red wine, soya, and yes, dark cocoa or chocolate. Their antioxidant activity is dependent on their molecular structure, and has been shown to protect cells against the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species, such as singlet oxygen, peroxyl radicals and superoxides.
Other beneficial effects mentioned in scientific literature include antiviral, anti-allergic, antiplatelet, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor effects.
Eat more fruits and veggies. All the medicine you'll ever need are in these food items.