As we often hear, clinical and lab evidence that cocoa and dark chocolate benefit cardiovascular health seems pretty persuasive and it's very clear that these heart benefits flow from cocoa's rare blend of polyphenols, including flavanols, procyanidins, and catechins.
In fact, no cardiovascular benefits appear when people eat cocoa treated with alkali (or dutch-processed), a nearly universal cocoa-making practice that destroys most of its polyphenols.
The other top sources of cocoa-type polyphenols include grape skins, red wine, green and white tea, blackberries, boysenberries, wild blueberries, chokeberries, and Brazil's acai fruit – but cocoa is uniquely rich in all three kinds.
Better artery "performance" and lower blood pressure rank as cocoa's most convincingly demonstrated cardiovascular benefits.
As the German authors of an evidence review wrote, "The magnitude of the hypotensive [blood-pressure-lowering] effects of cocoa is ... in the range that is usually achieved with ... beta-blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitors." (Taubert D et al. 2007)
Now that's more good news about cacao.
Article courtesy of NHIonDemand.com, found here.