This evening I tried to drop my blood pressure by eating three 72% chocolate squares from a slab. It has been reported that dark chocolate will give as much as a ten-point drop in systolic pressure. I gave it a try. What could go wrong?
I use the OMRON blood pressure monitor model BP786N, which I bought last month to replace my manual hand-pumped blood pressure cuff device. Because this OMRON is more automated and links to my cell phone, it is easy to track the details of what’s going on with blood pressure. I have it set on the triple measure which does three measure about a minute apart and then averages them and displays the result in big numbers on the screen. Okay, that works well enough, but when I put my cell phone beside the device and turn them on and off, it transfers all of that data to a much better display on my cell phone. And it displays all three of the recordings separately. That is great because when I relax, the numbers usually drop a few points from the first reading to the third one.
The chocolate experiment started at 9:40 PM with 125 sys /62 dia 55 bpm when I ate 3 of 40 Trader Joe’s Pound Plus 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate chunks. That’s 3/40 of 500 grams or 37.5 grams of chocolate. That equals 1.3234 ounces of chocolate. At 10:49 PM my blood pressure was 118 sys /55 dia 52 bpm. That’s a drop of 7 sys / 7 dia 3 bpm that might be related to eating the chocolate or maybe not.
That was a single experiment, and as such doesn’t mean much, but it was promising, and thus I will try it several more times. Perhaps it would be better to do this experiment in the mid-afternoon, when my body has the opportunity to digest and use it for something better than gaining weight.
Like I said, what could go wrong with eating chocolate late in the evening?