Cocoa and high blood pressure

September 26, 2009


Now, I would have thought that a good cup of cocoa would certainly make you feel better but because of its high caffeine content I wouldn’t have thought of it as a treatment for high blood pressure.

But who am I to disagree with researchers from Harvard? It seems that although 3 in 10 of us in the UK suffer from the condition there is one place in the world where it is virtually unknown. The Kuna Indians live on a group of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama and hypertension does not exist there. Once the islanders reach 60, they have a perfect average blood pressure of 110/70 which is something to be envied and they also have much lower death rates from heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and cancer.

So what’s their secret? It is certainly not their salt intake as that is as high as in the UK, but because they drink 5 cups of cocoa every day. WE know that the flavonols in cocoa stimulate your body’s production of nitric oxide and that boosts blood flow to your heart, brain, and other organs. If you are taking a daily aspirin to thin your blood you might like to know that one study found cocoa thins your blood just as well. Certainly tastes better, and one Harvard Medical School professor claims cocoa can also treat blocked arteries, congestive heart failure, stroke, dementia, and even impotence.

No more to be said really, but I would stick to organic cocoa and I am not sure if the islanders make it with milk or not, but if you do then make sure that’s organic too so you get the maximum benefit


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