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Dark Chocolate: Good for Your Heart

chocolate heartHere’s a “sweet” heart tip … dark chocolate is good for your cardiovascular health! Because it contains heart protective antioxidants called flavonols, dark chocolate has been shown to:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve blood flow to the heart
  • Lower “bad” LDL cholesterol
  • Promote feelings of relaxation and well-being

“But you have to choose the healthiest dark chocolate by checking the label for 60 to 70 percent cacao,” says Dr. Amanda Watts with Baton Rouge General Physicians – Bella Family Medical. “It has a small amount of sugar for flavor, but a healthy amount of flavonols making it a good choice when you’re craving something sweet.”

Enjoy moderate portions of dark chocolate (e.g., 1 ounce) a few times per week, but don’t forget to eat other flavonoid-rich foods like apples, red wine, tea, onions and cranberries.