A small, recent study suggests that just a little bit of dark chocolate is enough to lower blood pressure by a small but significant amount.
According to Chinese medicine, one reason for high blood pressure is low heart energy. Since bitter foods increase heart energy, almost any amount of dark chocolate will help. Other bitter foods that raise heart energy are coffee, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and grilled and barbecued foods.
The study used dark chocolate that contains 60% cocoa. The researchers believe that any dark chocolate will do, but this is unlikely. Dark chocolate tastes sweet and bitter; for it to have an effect on the heart, it must be predominantly bitter. So dark chocolate that’s mostly sweet with a hint of bitterness won’t help; in fact, it’s more likely to drain heart energy because of the sweetness. For the same reason, coffee is most effective when taken black, because both milk (all dairy) and sugar (or sweetener) tend to lower heart energy.