If you are stuck inside, stressed and worried about your blood pressure in the current Coronavirus epidemic then I’ve got a tasty solution for you…chocolate!
Chocolate doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. If you have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or pre-diabetes then chocolate is medicine you should take every day.
So often the news is full of yet more things to add to the ‘don’t eat’ list, especially when you are diabetic, how about some good news for a change?
What you eat is the most powerful medicine there is for your health and chocolate is one of the foods brimming with chemicals that help your body stay healthy. Eating dark chocolate is linked to better blood flow, lower blood pressure, reduced LDL cholesterol, and improved insulin sensitivity.
One of the studies published in Hypertension with the American Heart Association discusses the effect of dark chocolate on blood pressure and insulin sensitivity. The study used 100gms of dark chocolate daily:
Consumption of flavanol-rich dark chocolate has been shown to decrease blood pressure and insulin resistance in healthy subjects. The current study shows that consumption of flavanol-rich dark chocolate decreased daytime and nighttime BP, reduced insulin resistance, and improved nitric oxide-dependent vasorelaxation
If you are a diabetic then it’s important to keep your blood pressure in check, chocolate will not only help lower blood pressure, but it does something that no drug can. It lowers your blood pressure selectively if is high it will help bring it down but if your blood pressure is normal it has no effect.
But there’s more. Dark chocolate also reduces LDL too. LDL is a type of cholesterol and stands for low-density lipoprotein. High levels of LDL increase the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. It is important when you are diabetic to keep LDL levels low to reduce the risk of complications.
The author of the study, Dr. Mee Young Hong, associate professor of exercise and nutritional sciences at San Diego State University, told WebMD that dark chocolate decreased bad cholesterol (LDL) by 20% and increased the good cholesterol by 20%.
These amazing results don’t apply to your Cadbury’s or Hershey chocolate though. The studies all used dark chocolate that contained a high percentage of cocoa solids.
When you are shopping you need to look for a minimum of 85% cocoa solids, the higher the better. You don’t need much either, just 25-50gms per day, this is just a few squares. A delicious way to enjoy it is to melt it in a glass of warm milk. A perfect bedtime drink.