Is Chocolate Good for Your Heart?

Dr. Jolene BrightenPublished: Last Reviewed: What to Eat Leave a Comment

Is Chocolate Good for Your Heart? The short answer is yes. Chocolate contains nutrients which have been shown to lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease. But not all chocolate has these benefits.

Is Chocolate Good for Your Heart?

When looking at the health benefits, dark chocolate wins over white. Dark chocolate contains compounds known as flavonoids.

The flavonoids found in chocolate have been shown to improve the function of cells lining blood vessels. A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that dark chocolate, not white, was effective in lowering blood pressure.

Choose your chocolate wisely.

Chocolate that has undergone substantial processing or been treated to reduce the acidity (Dutch processing) will have lower amounts of heart healthy compounds. Many manufacturers are working to improve chocolate processing to help retain the healthy constituents. 

Keep in mind that chocolate carries quite a load of calories. It doesn't take a whole bar every day, but rather just a small amount to gain the benefits.

Moderation is key, along with a healthy lifestyle. And remember that flavonoids are also found in fruits and vegetables, so you can really do without the chocolate… but then, that wouldn't be very much fun.

If you find yourself in the Portland area be sure to visit Cacao, a place that really knows their chocolate. You can buy it by the bar or by the mug (which I highly recommend).

Do you have a favorite dark chocolate? Share with us. 

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About The Author

Dr. Jolene Brighten

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Dr. Jolene Brighten, NMD, is a women’s hormone expert and prominent leader in women’s medicine. As a licensed naturopathic physician who is board certified in naturopathic endocrinology, she takes an integrative approach in her clinical practice. A fierce patient advocate and completely dedicated to uncovering the root cause of hormonal imbalances, Dr. Brighten empowers women worldwide to take control of their health and their hormones. She is the best selling author of Beyond the Pill and Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth. Dr. Brighten is an international speaker, clinical educator, medical advisor within the tech community, and considered a leading authority on women’s health. She is a member of the MindBodyGreen Collective and a faculty member for the American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine. Her work has been featured in the New York Post, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, Bustle, The Guardian, Sports Illustrated, Elle, and ABC News. Read more about me here.