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Monday, June 02, 2008

Chocolate and Cinnamon are good for the heart

Even a little bit of the right kind can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. It works much better than tea. And a big piece of chocolate can improve your blood sugar, too. And cinnamon can improve your blood pressure and blood sugar. Cinnamon and cocoa seem to have fewer adverse side effects than prescription drugs.

In a recent Italian study, patients in their 30's reduced their high blood pressure an average of 11.9 points systolic and 8.9 points diastolic after eating a popular German candy bar for only two weeks. Several other chocolate studies are summarized here. And the Kuna people of the San Blas Islands of Panama seem to be immune to high blood pressure -- as long as they drink their cocoa.

With your doctor is monitoring you regularly, the best-case scenario would be a 10-point drop in systolic and 8-point drop in diastolic blood pressure in a couple weeks, putting a prehypertensive back into the normal range. Even a 5-point drop that showed up over a couple of months would be worth celebrating. The worst-case scenario is no change, in which case you've bought and enjoyed chocolate for several weeks, and are no worse off. Unless you have migraines or a chocolate allergy, there is very little risk.

You just need to choose the right chocolate.

1. Cocoa can cause allergic reactions or trigger migraines in some people. Children shouldn't eat too much cocoa or chocolate. Chocolate and cocoa might cause decreased bone density in older women. Or not.
2. Cinnamon rarely causes an allergic skin reaction. Cinnamon can thin the blood and might have an estrogenic effect.


Cinnamon said...

Make sure you use real Cinnamon as the Cinnamon that we buy in the US is actually Cassia which could be toxic.

Read more by clicking the link under my name.

Family Nutritionist said...

Actually, the Pakistani study I cited used Cassia cinnamon, and reported no adverse affects.

Family Nutritionist said...

But it was strange that the study didn't mention coumarin. Not even once.