Study Dark Chocolate Lowers Heart Risks Lowers Blood Pressure

03.31.10 | FL News Team

German researchers have sweet news to report. People who eat on average more than seven grams of rich dark chocolate a day have lower blood pressure and have a 39 percent lower risk of experiencing a stroke or heart attack than people who eat less than two grams a day. Researchers theorize the flavanols in dark cocoa may be why it's good for the heart and blood pressure. Also, chocolate is thought to ease stress, which can lead to better heart health and blood flow. More than 19-thousand people were studied for more than ten years to get the results. But the researchers warn that the findings should not be used as an excuse to eat all the dark chocolate Easter eggs you can get your hands on. They claim small amounts of chocolate may aid in the prevention of heart disease, but only if it replaces snacks. Also, the increase in calories could lead to weight gain. The study's results appear in the "European Heart Journal."