For many years chocolate has been taken by many as a guilty pleasure. But there have been recent studies showing that chocolate – the dark kind in particular has show excellent
benefits. So as it may seem the ancient Mayan civilisation may have been on to something when they deem chocolate the food of the gods.
In two independent studies done it was found that dark chocolate was a potent anti oxidant. Furthermore it was discovered that dark chocolate plays a role in the lowering of high blood pressure. But that's no license to go on a chocolate binge. Eating more dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure -- if you've reached a certain age and have mild high blood pressure, say the researchers. But you have to balance the extra calories by eating less of other things.
To test this discovery Dr Dirk Taubert signed up a group of men and women aged between 55 and 64 all of whom had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Every day for two weeks, they ate a 100-gram chocolate bar and were asked to balance its 480 calories by not eating other foods similar in nutrients and calories. Half the patients got dark chocolate and half got white chocolate. Those who ate dark chocolate had a significant drop in blood pressure (by an average of 5 points for systolic and an average of 2 points for diastolic blood pressure). Those who ate white chocolate did not.