Current evidence from experimental studies in animals and humans along with findings from prospective studies indicates beneficial effects of green and black tea as well as chocolate on cardiovascular health, and that tea and chocolate consumption may reduce the risk of stroke. The strongest evidence exists for beneficial effects of tea and cocoa on endothelial function, total and LDL cholesterol (tea only), and insulin sensitivity (cocoa only). The majority of prospective studies have reported a weak inverse association between moderate consumption of coffee and risk of stroke. However, there are yet no clear biological mechanisms whereby coffee might provide cardiovascular health benefits. Awaiting the results from further long-term RCTs and prospective studies, moderate consumption of filtered coffee, tea, and dark chocolate seems prudent.
Keywords: cacao; coffee; diet; flavonoids; polyphenols; risk factors; stroke; tea.