Is Chocolate Good for Your Heart?

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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Dr. Jolene Brighten is a Functional Medicine Naturopathic Medical Doctor and the founder of Rubus Health, a women’s medicine clinic that specializes in women's hormones. She is recognized as a leading expert in Post-Birth Control Syndrome and the long-term side effects associated with hormonal contraceptives. Dr. Brighten is the best selling author, speaker and regular contributor to several online publications including MindBodyGreen. She is a medical advisor for one of the first data-driven apps to offer women personalized birth control recommendations.Read more about me.