It’s the best news in ages – good dark chocolate is healthy for you! According to Dirk Taubert, MD and colleagues at the University of Cologne, Germany “Dark chocolate, not white chocolate, lowers high blood pressure” according to their report in the August 27 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Taubert's team signed up six men and seven women aged 55-64. All had just been diagnosed with mild high blood pressure on average, systolic blood pressure (the top number) of 153 and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) of 84.
Every day for two weeks, they ate a 100-gram candy bar and were asked to balance its 480 calories by not eating other foods similar in nutrients and calories. Half the patients got dark chocolate and half got white chocolate.
Those who ate dark chocolate had a significant drop in blood pressure (by an average of 5 points for systolic and an average of 2 points for diastolic blood pressure). Those who ate white chocolate did not.
Dark chocolate’s secret ingredient is plant phenols -- cocoa phenols, to be exact. These compounds are known to lower blood pressure. Sulpice Chocolat offers several varieties of dark chocolate crafted with crystallized ginger, mint essence, or toasted pistachios. Sulpice Chocolat even offers spicy cinnamon and cayenne pepper dark chocolate bars.