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Regular consumption of polyphenol–rich cocoa products like dark chocolate may be considered a part of dietary approaches to lower BP, provided there is no total gain in calorie intake.
Drug treatment is the basis of blood pressure control, and it should always be accompanied by lifestyle measures such as exercise and proper diet.
The recommendation is an occasional cup of cocoa but not chocolate milk, because it is high in sugar and fat.
According to a survey of medical literature by German researcher, Dr. Dirk Taubert from the University Hospital of Cologne, cocoa–rich products, and not tea, help lower high blood pressure. They covered 10 studies on cocoa that included 173 participants and five tea studies with 343 participants. The cocoa studies lasted an average of two weeks, with four out of five trials reporting a reduction in both systolic and diastolic BP.
The average reduction was 4 to 5 mm Hg in systolic pressure and 2 to 3 mm in diastolic pressure –– enough to reduce the risk of stroke by 20% and of coronary heart disease by 10%. No such reduction in blood pressure was noted in any of the tea trials, which lasted an average of four weeks. Tea and cocoa contain different kinds of polyphenols –– flavan–3–ols in tea, procyanids in cocoa.