Dark chocolate contains more cocoa than milk chocolate, and the higher the cocoa content, the more bioactive compounds you get. Elements such as flavonoids and antioxidants improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure, and according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those who took cocoa supplements were 27% less likely to die of cardiovascular disease. Choose a product that is at least 75% cocoa, says Stefani Sassos, MS, RD, nutrition director at the Good Housekeeping Institute.
This naturally sweet treat is also good for your heart. Research from San Diego State University found that those who ate strawberries every day had reduced blood pressure and improved their cardiovascular risk factors. Another study published in the journal Nutrients found that eating strawberries improved blood lipid profiles and lowered LDL cholesterol.