Dark chocolate and other cocoa-rich products have been found to be better at lowering blood pressure than black and green tea.

Both cocoa and tea are rich in polyphenols antioxidants but polyphenols in cocoa may be more effective at lowering blood pressure.

People with or at risk of high blood pressure are advised to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables high in poluphenols to protect themselves from heart disease and high blood pressure. Although tea and cocoa products account for the bulk of people’s total intake of polyphenols in Western countries, there are no guidelines and recommendations for these products for people at risk for high blood pressure or heart disease.

In the study performed, the researchers noticed that eating dark chocolate and other cocoa-rich products reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The reduction was an average of 4.7 points systolic and 2.8 points diastolic. These effects are very similar to those achieved with one-drug therapy with either beta-blockers or ACE inhibitors. Black and green tea had no effects on blood pressure reduction.

The researchers have estimated that the blood pressure-lowering effects associated with cocoa are expected to reduce the risk of stroke by about 20%, coronary heart disease by 10%, and death from all causes by 8%.

They warned that their findings should not be interpreted as a widespread recommendation for excessive candy intake and that cocoa products should be used rationally