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For those with hypertension, a daily dose of dark chocolate may be just what the doctor ordered.
Researchers found that dark chocolate lowered blood pressure in test subjects with hypertension and that among those who ate dark chocolate, levels of LDL, or the bad cholesterol, dropped by about 10 percent.
Chocolate contains flavonoids, a natural antioxidant found in many foods, including tea, red wine and vegetables. Previous studies have indicated that such foods might offer cardiovascular benefits.
But don't go gorging on dark chocolate. More study is needed. However, flavonoid-rich foods should be a part of a healthy diet.
(c) 2005, Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service.