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A lot has been made over the years about diet and exercise being key components of a successful battle with hypertension or high blood pressure. But from the fringes we keep hearing snippets about drinking a glass of wine a day, eating dark chocolate and other things that seem oddly out of place.

Diet and dark chocolate! Diet and dark chocolate! Almost seems oxymoronic. I know from my experience that when I’m munching down dark chocolate, the word diet is secretly deleted from my brain during that moment. Maybe that is the power of antioxidants. Maybe they aren’t really good for you, they just erase guilt from your mind so, a little wine, a truffle….life is good.

But such is not the conclusion of studies that show that antioxidants actually do lower high blood pressure. This happens through a process of antioxidants inhibiting something called free radicals (sounds like something out of the 60’s).

This ability to inhibit free radicals can have far reaching effects, staving off high blood pressure which can prevent strokes and helping to prevent some of the big boys like heart disease and cancer.

So, will you get lower life insurance rates if you explain on your application that you eat blueberries or dark chocolate or (yum), dark chocolate covered blueberries from Harry and Davids, daily? Well, not from the mere mention of the fact you won’t, but a healthier you is a better life insurance risk and that should lead to lower rates.

Bottom line. Do what your mom told you. Eat chocolate and drink wine….and eat your vegetables. Science is on her side.