Cocoa is a byproduct of cacao tree which is said to be extremely beneficial for health. While cacao beans contain the maximum amount of antioxidants, cocoa is the powdered version with a comparatively lesser amount. However, its consumption can provide many health benefits, blood pressure control being one of them. Yes, a study has found that consumption of cocoa can reduce blood pressure and relieve stiff arteries.
According to research done by the University of Surrey and published in the journal ‘Frontiers in Nutrition’, cocoa contains flavonols that are used in most blood pressure medications. This shows that flavonols-containing foods might be helpful in controlling blood pressure however, there were not many studies backing this. This study by Surrey University focuses on using cocoa for cardiovascular health. This research finds there is a lesser or no health risk of flavonols for lowering blood pressure on a daily basis.
The aim of this study was to examine whether cocoa can actually help in blood pressure management and relieve stiffness in arteries.
High blood pressure is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Having high BP or hypertension increases your chances of developing stroke, blocked arteries and other heart diseases. To find if cocoa is helpful in BP management, the research team took eleven healthy people and asked them to consume cocoa in the form of cocoa flavonol capsules or brown sugar placebo capsules. They consumed six capsules for a week on alternate days. They were asked to log in their blood pressure and pulse wave velocity(to measure arterial stiffness) before taking the capsules and every 30 minutes post taking them for three to four hours.
It was found that patients with high BP before taking the cacao supplement gradually lowered after ingesting the capsules. Also, those with normal to low blood pressure showed no significant changes. This indicates, cocoa consumption leaves a positive impact on our heart health. It influences functions of blood vessels to regulate blood pressure.
If a person’s blood pressure is high, they shall consume cacao to lower it. Also, regular consumption of cocoa can keep BP in moderation. It is extremely important to monitor your blood pressure daily, if you are at risk of high BP. This decreases the risk of cardiovascular health problems in the long run.
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