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iVillage: 7 Foods That Can Lower Blood Pressure

Dark Chocolate

The next time you crave chocolate, give in. Besides their mood-boosting effects, the flavonols in dark chocolate may protect against high blood pressure and stroke, in part by improving the elasticity of blood vessels.

Best bet: When choosing chocolate, go as dark as your taste buds can stand. Check labels for the percentage of cacao, which is the source of all that antioxidant goodness. Dark chocolate typically ranges from 45 percent to 80 percent cacao. And eat a square, not the whole bar.

Another healthy chocolate treat: Sugar-free hot cocoa—in one study it lowered blood pressure, but the sugared kind did not.

Try this: “Toast slices of chewy whole-wheat bread, then brush them with fruity extra virgin olive oil while they’re still warm. Sprinkle the slices with Aleppo or Maras pepper to taste, and top with shavings of good quality dark chocolate,” says Kremezi.

(Credit: Chris Turner/Getty Images)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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