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6 Fun Ways to Help Your Heart

  • August 1, 2011
  • 5:01 pm
  • 2 of 7

Swing by the candy store

You may be able to significantly lower your blood pressure with nothing more than a daily dose of dark chocolate. In a 2008 Italian study, people who had both prediabetes and high blood pressure managed to do just that by eating 31/2 ounces of dark chocolate each day for 15 days. They lowered their systolic BP (the upper number) by 4.5 points and their diastolic (the lower number) by 4.2 points, thanks to the flavonoids—antioxidant compounds—found in dark chocolate. A sustained improvement of that extent could lower your risk of cardiovascular problems by 20 percent over 5 years.

But you need to eat the right type of chocolate. Darker chocolate contains more antioxidants and less of the sugar that may counteract chocolate’s beneficial effects, according to research from Yale. Choose dark chocolate with a minimum of 65 percent cacao, such as Ghirardelli’s Intense Dark 72% Cacao Twilight Delight Bar ($4, ghirardelli.com).

Learn 7 ways to eat sugar and still lose weight!

  • 2 of 7

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Rodale

Rodale.com is a new original source for daily news, information, and advice on personal and environmental health. Rodale.com focuses on “Where Health Meets Green” topics, providing daily news stories and breaking news along with easy-to-follow, high-impact tips and advice.

131 comments

+ add your own
4:08PM PDT on May 4, 2013

Thanks

1:15PM PDT on May 4, 2013

thanks

1:14PM PDT on May 4, 2013

thanks

7:05AM PDT on Apr 26, 2013

Lifestyle counts

6:25AM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

I will pass on the advice! Thank you!

6:23AM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

I will pass on the advice! Thank you!

9:54PM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

Thanks, I think I can fit in all of these!

11:27AM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

Thanks

11:51AM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

Thanks for the tips

4:06PM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

THANKS.

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