Most chocolates comes from cocoa, the Theobromo cacao plant. Half of the cocoa bean is made up of fat in the form of cocoa butter.
Cocoa powder is the edible non fat part of the cocoa bean. Most of the fats in chocolate are saturated, but it also contains lots of the ‘good’ fats like oleic and linoleic acids.
Cacao has one of the highest concentration of antioxidants in the form of flavanoids like catechin and epicatechin. Studies have shown that dark chocolate decreases blood pressure.
The lowering of blood pressure may be attributed to cocoa’s action as a renin-angiotension enzyme inhibitor, the same mechanism addressed by blood pressure medication. Its antioxidants can lower blood sugar and cholesterol.
A study was conducted for 13 people between the ages of 5 and 64, who had blood pressure numbers of 153/84. They were divided in two groups.
One group ate a 100 gram bar of white chocolate daily while the other group ate a dark chocolate bar. Those who ate the dark chocolate has shown a lower blood pressure. Compared to white chocolate, which has not shown any health benefit.
The benefit were attributed to the cocoa phenols that are part and present in the dark cocoa powder from the cocoa bean. The darker the chocolate the more health benefit you can get.