Study finds cocoa helps reduce blood pressure, arterial stiffness — A look at its other benefits

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Cocoa helps reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness in case these factors are elevated, a new study has revealed. Flavanols found in cocoa have previously been known to lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness. However, their effectiveness in every day remained unknown.

The study by the University of Surrey was published in the journal ‘Frontiers in Nutrition’. Previous studies in this area have been performed in tightly controlled experimental settings. But the Surrey research was the first of its kind that observed the effects of flavanols outside clinical settings.

The study found that cocoa flavanols only decrease blood pressure if it is elevated and have no effect if the levels are normal. The findings counter the concerns that cocoa as a treatment for raised blood pressure could pose health risks to patients by decreasing their blood pressure when it is not raised. The study also paved the way for cocoa to be used in clinical practice.

Here’s a look at some other amazing health benefits of cocoa:

Wound Healing

Cocoa contains plenty of zinc that is useful for healing wounds.

Reduced Inflammation

Theobromine, which is richly found in cocoa, helps reduce inflammation. It may also protect the body from heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes.

Weight Loss and Control

Cocoa is rich in phytonutrients but low in fat and sugar, thus the calories from cocoa are packed with healthy nutrients. Studies also indicated that cocoa helps to regulate energy use and metabolism while also increasing feelings of fullness to help with weight loss.

Improves Brain function and Blood Flow to Brain

Studies indicate that polyphenols found in cocoa, may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases by improving brain function and blood flow to the brain.

May Improve Mood and Symptoms of Depression

Cocoa has a positive impact on age-related mental degeneration, and its effect on the brain may also improve mood and symptoms of depression according to several studies.

The positive effects on mood may be attributed to cocoa’s flavanols, and the conversion of tryptophan to the natural mood stabilizer serotonin.

(Edited by : Priyanka Deshpande)