Eat­ing dark choco­late low­ers heart dis­ease risk

Iran Daily - - Health -

Dark choco­late can lower your blood pres­sure.

The choco­late con­tains chem­i­cals called fla­vanols, ex­ re­ported.

Fla­vanols are thought to widen blood ves­sels, mean­ing blood pres­sure is low­ered.

The chem­i­cals are found in co­coa prod­ucts, in­clud­ing dark choco­late. Some fruit are also rich in fla­vanols, in­clud­ing ap­ples, pears, grapes and blue­ber­ries.

Re­search has con­firmed the link be­tween dark choco­late and a lower risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar prob­lems, in­clud­ing heart dis­ease.

The av­er­age blood pres­sure re­duc­tion was about two to three mmhg, a rel­a­tively mod­est amount, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Health Ser­vice (NHS).

But, the small dif­fer­ence could have a pos­i­tive ef­fect on health when com­bined with reg­u­lar ex­er­cise.

Although it’s high in fat and calo­ries, choco­late can be part of a healthy, bal­anced diet when eaten in mod­er­a­tion.

There is a bal­anc­ing act be­tween low­er­ing blood pres­sure by eat­ing the choco­late and the risk of obe­sity by eat­ing too much.

High blood pres­sure — or hy­per­ten­sion — is es­ti­mated to af­fect one in four peo­ple in the UK.

In the UK, there are about seven mil­lion peo­ple liv­ing with the con­di­tion un­di­ag­nosed, ac­cord­ing to the Bri­tish Heart Foun­da­tion.

Vi­tal or­gans are put un­der pres­sure with high blood pres­sure. That in­cludes the brain, heart and kid­neys.

An ideal blood pres­sure is be­tween 90-60mmhg and 12080mmhg. Mak­ing small life­style changes will keep blood pres­sure at a nor­mal level.

The con­di­tion in­creases the risk of other lethal con­di­tions, in­clud­ing heart dis­ease, kid­ney dis­ease, strokes and vas­cu­lar de­men­tia.

It’s caused by be­ing over­weight, smok­ing, eat­ing too much salt, not ex­er­cis­ing enough, or just be­ing over 65.

Only a blood pres­sure test will re­veal if some­one suf­fers form high blood pres­sure.

Other foods that help to re­duce blood pres­sure in­clude spinach, skimmed milk, fish, ba­nanas and beet­root.


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