Did you know that cocoa can be helpful in lowering blood pressure? New research found some undiscovered facts about cocoa in hypertension that you must know.
- According to new research, cocoa consumption lowers blood pressure in healthy persons, which has implications for future hypertension treatments.
- While the results appear promising, eating more chocolate is not a recommended blood pressure-lowering approach.
- People with hypertension should follow heart-healthy diets like the DASH and Mediterranean diets.
One of the most interesting things about chocolate is its ability to affect so many different parts of our bodies. For example, some research has shown that a couple of servings per week might be the sweet spot to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Cocoa, in particular, and the flavanols it delivers to the body can help decrease blood pressure and reduce arterial stiffness as much as some blood pressure medications.
So, is it recommended to add cocoa to your diet to lower blood pressure and artery health? Keep reading to find out.
Cardiovascular health is a term that refers to the overall condition of the heart and blood vessels. Certain risk factors can increase a person’s chances of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and obesity.
Control of these factors through lifestyle changes and medication can help improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk for more severe health problems. However, the intervention plan will look different for each person.
Individuals who are in good health can make significant efforts to lower their risk of developing risk factors such as high blood pressure or hypertension. High blood pressure is also known as the “silent killer” because it is impossible to tell if you have it until you monitor it.
According to the researchers, previous controlled clinical intervention studies have demonstrated the blood pressure-decreasing and arterial stiffness-reducing effects of cocoa flavanols (CF) in healthy humans.
In this recent study, eleven healthy adults received alternating doses of cocoa flavanol capsules and placebo capsules for eight days. They collected blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse wave velocity measurements every half hour for the first three hours after taking the capsule and then hourly for twelve hours throughout the day.
The results showed that cocoa flavanols were effective in lowering blood pressure and reducing arterial stiffness. These findings suggest that CF may be a promising dietary supplement for people with higher blood pressure or those who are at risk for developing hypertension.
Cocoa flavanols have been shown to have a positive impact on cardiovascular system function, in particular, blood vessel function and blood pressure. Doctors often fear that some blood pressure tablets can decrease blood pressure too much on some days. But what the study found indicates that cocoa flavanols only decrease blood pressure if it is elevated.
Working with participants’ personal health technologies showed how variable blood pressure and arterial stiffness can be from day to day. It also shows the role of personal health monitors in developing and implementing effective personalised care.
By helping to stabilise blood pressure levels and improve vascular function over time, cocoa flavanols will likely provide meaningful long-term benefits to those individuals who take them.
According to a press release, new research shows that cocoa can lower blood pressure when it is not raised. This means that cocoa could potentially be used in clinical practice as a treatment for hypertension.
However, Dr Mehrdad Rezaee, a cardiologist at O’Connor Hospital in San Jose, California, pointed out significant flaws in the new study. “Researchers did not test this substance over an extended length of time or in a therapeutically relevant context,” he explained. “At the moment, this is still a theory that was addressed in a highly controlled atmosphere.”
Despite these limitations, the new research is interesting and demonstrates how cocoa could be used as an alternative to traditional treatments for hypertension.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to lowering blood pressure, as it depends on a person’s individual circumstances and health history. But there are some effective measures you can take that can help to bring your numbers down.
If you wish to lower your blood pressure, here are some things you can do:
Obesity is a leading cause of hypertension in adults and is also a significant risk factor for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. A healthy weight helps to reduce your risk of these conditions as well.
Eating foods that are low in salt, saturated fat, and cholesterol can help lower your blood pressure. Try to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet as well.
Exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of developing hypertension and heart disease in general. Consult your doctor about the best way to get the exercise you need without putting additional stress on your body.
Sodium is a major contributor to high blood pressure. Reducing your sodium intake can help significantly lower your blood pressure levels. Make sure to read food labels before buying so that you’re aware of the sodium percentage.
In hypertension, reducing your stress levels is essential. By taking prescribed medications as needed and practising relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, hypertension can be controlled.
New research reveals that cocoa flavanols can safely lower blood pressure in healthy persons, but additional research is needed to discover whether cocoa products can assist in managing hypertension.
While some experts say the findings could pave the way for new treatments, the results weren’t clinically significant. People with high blood pressure and other chronic diseases should avoid eating extra chocolate, which is high in sugar and fat.
To help reduce high blood pressure, specialists prescribe heart-healthy dietary regimes such as the DASH and Mediterranean diets. Before starting any new medication or diet change for hypertension, talk to your healthcare expert.