Consuming enough of the right things can keep you alive longer—period. And the study I shared on Tuesday was a perfect recent example of that. But it’s not just tea and coffee drinkers that stand to reap all the health benefits.
In fact, yet another recent study of more than 25,000 people in the U.K. shows that a diet rich in flavanols from any source can effectively lower blood pressure.
A measurable difference
Unlike other studies, this one measured subjects’ flavanol intake based on nutritional biomarkers in the blood (as opposed to relying on patient’s dietary reporting, which can be less reliable).
An international team of scientists—hailing from Cambridge University, the University of Reading, and the University of California—looked at data from just over 25,600 participants from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC) Norfolk study.
The results of their analysis revealed a striking difference: Subjects with the lowest flavanol intake had blood pressure as much as 4 mmHg higher than subjects with the highest flavanol intake. And this difference was most pronounced in patients with existing hypertension.
That’s a clinically meaningful change. And as the researchers point out, it’s comparable with what you would see after adopting the Mediterranean diet or (the ridiculous) Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
In fact, it almost makes you wonder if maybe you don’t have to restrict salt or fat to lower blood pressure at all! (Gee… imagine that!)
My favorite source of flavanols
You can find flavanols in foods like green tea, berries, dark leafy greens… and even dark chocolate.
So it’s no coincidence that Mars, Incorporated—which you no doubt recognize as one of the world’s most prolific candy manufacturers—bankrolled this study. Though needless to say, I’m not about to recommend you reach for a Snickers bar if you’re after a flavanol boost.
That said, pure cocoa—not milk chocolate or any of those sugar-laden chocolate bars—is one of the richest sources of these lifesaving natural compounds out there.
So here’s what I recommend doing instead…
Stick with the purest cocoa product you can find, bar or powder. (I always recommend 100 percent cocoa, but look for at least 85 percent.) Mix it up on the stovetop with unsweetened almond or coconut milk, along with just enough stevia or lo han to cut the bitterness. And you’re good to go.
The resulting concoction is one of my favorite treats in the wintertime. (Or any season, really.) It’s healthy, simple… and most definitely delicious.
P.S. You can learn about additional natural ways to help prevent and reverse America’s biggest killers—high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke—in my Ultimate Heart Protection Protocol. To learn more about this innovative, online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here now!
“High flavanol diet may lead to lower blood pressure: First study to use objective measure to look at 25,000 people’s diet.” Science Daily, 10/21/2020. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201021085109.htm)