Theobromine is an alkaloid chemical primarily found in the cocoa plant, though also to a lesser extent in tea leaves and the cola nut. Cocoa and chocolate are the main foods high in theobromine.
Theobromine acts somewhat like caffeine in the body, and can be considered a stimulant.
Theobromine widens blood vessels and causes increased urination, and as such, can be used to lower blood pressure. (2) Cocoa and chocolate is also very high in potassium, adding to its potential to help with hypertension (high blood pressure).
Healthy chocolate products high in theobromine include cocoa powder, baking chocolate, and dark chocolate. Less desirable sources include semisweet chocolate, chocolate candy, chocolate wafers, and hot chocolate mixes.
There is no set daily value or adequate intake for theobromine, however, 250mg is a good daily target for adults. An excess of 1000mg may lead to nervousness and headache. (2,3) Also, avoid giving chocolate to dogs and cats. (4) See the warning section for more info.
Below are the top 10 chocolate products highest in theobromine.