Dark chocolate lowers blood pressure, blood sugar

March 24, 2011 10:09:45 PM PDT
We have been hearing for years about the health benefits of dark chocolate, but researchers are gaining insight into why cocoa seems to do the heart good.

Chocolate comes from the cocoa tree and contains compounds called flavonoids. They act not only as antioxidants but are known to have cardiovascular benefits.

A review of 21 studies found that eating unsweetened dark chocolate lowered blood pressure and improved the ability of insulin to lower blood sugar.

2,600-plus participants were part of this short term research, which was recently presented at a Harvard Medical School conference.