How does chocolate protect your heart and liver? It may be the chemical composition of nutrient-rich dark chocolate that inhibits angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) that elevates a patient’s blood pressure, according to a Swedish study.
Researchers made their discovery after studying a series of blood samples taken from 16 healthy, non-smoking patients (ages 20-45) before and after eating 75 grams of chocolate with a cocoa content of 72 percent. Patients were also prohibited from taking any drugs or consuming chocolate or any fruits, wine, coffee or tea with similar components 48 hours prior to testing.
The biggest drop in ACE activity came with the final blood test, three hours after patients ate nutrient-rich chocolate. Even better, the 18 percent decline, thanks to dark chocolate, matched that of ACE-inhibiting drugs, currently the first choice for high blood pressure.
Just a reminder, you’ll derive the biggest health benefits by eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate that contain minimal amounts of sugar.