Lower your blood pressure without diet or exercise

July 31, 2007
Volume 04    |   Issue 31

If you have high blood pressure, even if it?s only slightly elevated, you already know a low-sodium diet can help. But that?s not always possible if you have to eat out frequently. And you may know that regular exercise and meditation can help. Now there?s another way to lower your blood pressure - and this one is absolutely delicious.

We?ve known for a while that cocoa contains chemicals that are beneficial to our health. But most studies used high amounts of cocoa, which also contains a lot of sugar and fat. No one knew what effect low amounts of cocoa would have on blood pressure. Until now.

A recent German study published in JAMA found that hyper-tense participants who ate small amounts of dark chocolate each day had excellent results. In fact, the chocolate gave them the same blood-pressure-lowering benefits as people who modified their diets. In addition, the participants didn?t gain weight or have changes in their blood glucose or lipids (fats including cholesterol and triglycerides).

The key was how much they ate.

Researchers gave half of the study participants 6.3 grams, or 30 calories-worth, of dark chocolate a day; they gave the other half white chocolate. They saw benefits only in the dark chocolate-eaters.

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So, do your very best to minimize sodium and find some exercise you can do regularly. Make relaxation exercises or meditation a part of your daily routine. While you?re adjusting your lifestyle, pick up a bar of dark chocolate, and eat a small piece every day. It?s the easiest way to prevent a heart attack.

Your voice of reason in Women's Health,

Source:

JAMA, 2007;298(1):49-60.

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