According to 21 independent international research teams, dark chocolate may harbor benefits for the heart, reducing risk of stroke and heart disease by up to 20 percent. Presented at the American Heart Association in Atlanta on Wednesday, these studies indicate that as little as one square of dark chocolate per day can reduce blood pressure, while reducing problem fluid retention.
Apparently the cocoa in dark chocolate contains flavonoids, relaxing blood vessels, reducing insulin resistance in pre-diabetic conditions and protecting the heart from free-radical damage. Daily use of small amounts of dark chocolate decreases bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol.
Because dark chocolate is a calorie dense food, people are encouraged to find ways of incorporating it into their diets without added sugar and fat. Surprisingly positive heart benefits can be experienced by mixing a small amount of cocoa powder into coffee drinks, for instance, instead of eating dark chocolate candy.