If you're thinking about getting your valentine chocolate, make it dark, and it could be a healthy treat. Recent studies from Tufts University indicate first, that dark chocolate may help lower your blood pressure, and then that the flavanols in cocoa beans may help ease the symptoms of diarrhea.
So now the NIH is taking note. It has commissioned government researchers to study chocolate to see if it might be an alternative to traditional medicine. Dr. Michael Quon says "we are investigating the ability of chocolate, which is a functional food, to improve blood pressure and to improve insulin resistance. This is just for research purposes, and we're not recommending anybody eat chocolate to lower their blood pressure, at this point."
Quon says that's because they're not studying your ordinary chocolate. Instead, they're using a special type of cocoa that's jam packed with polyphenols,a healthy compound found naturally in chocolate, especially dark chocolate.