High blood pressure: Eating this 45p chocolate everyday could lower your hypertension risk

High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms, according to the NHS.

But, if your blood pressure is extremely high, it could lead to an irregular heartbeat, vision problems and finding blood in urine.

You could lower your blood pressure by eating dark chocolate, scientists have claimed.

Dark chocolate contains chemicals called flavanols, that are thought to widen blood vessels.

“Dark chocolate has been shown to have some effect on reducing high blood pressure,” said Blood Pressure UK.

“Some studies had shown that dark chocolate may have a blood pressure lowering effect.

“The researchers found that pressure reduction seen in the combined results for people with hypertension was up to 5mm Hg systolic [top number].

“In theory, this is a similar reduction to the known effects of 30 daily minutes of physical activity [4-9mm Hg].”

But, the long-term treatment of high blood pressure with dark chocolate is questionable, some scientists have claimed.

More trials are needed to confirm the link, they said.

“More research is needed to see if this is anything more than a short-term effect,” said the Blood Pressure Association’s Executive Director, Mike Rich.

“Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional sweet treat, but eating too much chocolate may cause weight gain, which in turn raises blood pressure, so we wouldn't recommend that people rush out to get giant bars of dark chocolate just yet.”

More than one in four UK adults have high blood pressure.

The only way to find out if you have the condition is to have your blood pressure checked, according to the NHS.

You could also lower your risk of hypertension by cutting back on the amount of salt you eat, and by following a healthy, balanced diet.

Smoking, caffeine and alcohol all increase the risk of high blood pressure.

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