It looks like flavanols are the new black. They are in cocoa beans, dark chocolate, red wine and green tea. Finally you can eat something that it is delicious and it can be good for you. It is not like the negative calories of a celery stick (it takes more calories to eat a piece of celery than the celery has in it to begin with)... :-)
Mars Inc. developed CocoaVia granola bars, and they market it almost as a pill. One bar of CocoaVia delivers 100 mg of cocoa flavanols. Mars is in talks with pharmaceutical companies to license drugs based on synthesized flavanol molecules.
The research showing the cardiovascular benefits of flavanols is still in early stages, so do not jump to conclusions.
Dark Chocolate and Other Cocoa-Rich Foods May Lower Blood Pressure. WebMD.
Dark chocolate almost as effective at lowering blood pressure as Atenolol. NYTimes.
Research promising for chocolate lovers - CNN
In Search of the Healing Power of Chocolate - NPR 12/05
Mediterranean diet, cocoa and cardiovascular disease: a sweeter life, a longer life, or both? - Journal of Hypertension 12/03
Tea flavonoids and cardiovascular health - Q J Med 2001
Dark Chocolate Improves Coronary Vasomotion and Reduces Platelet Reactivity. Circulation. 2007;116:2376-2382.
Chocolate from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Image source: Wikipedia