NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped veggies and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":

Pages

Daily Dose Of Dark Chocolate May Help Lower Blood Pressure

Aug 15, 2012
Originally published on October 22, 2012 11:28 am

We realize the skinny on chocolate seems too good to be true, but there have been positive signs lately that a bit of the sweet stuff is OK.

A few months back we reported on a study that found a regular chocolate habit — in moderation, of course — may be good for the waistline.

Now, there's a new review from the Cochrane Collaboration, a science-based group in the U.K. that analyzes bodies of research to determine the effectiveness of health claims. It finds that compounds in cocoa called flavanols may help to reduce blood pressure.

There are multiple lines of inquiry into flavanols in chocolate. For instance, we've told you about preliminary research that has found the compounds in cocoa can inhibit the activity of a digestive enzyme and block the breakdown of fat.

The new review on blood pressure included 20 studies varying in length from two to 18 weeks. Volunteers in the studies consumed dark chocolate or cocoa powder each day ranging from 3 to 100 grams (a regular-size 1.5-ounce Hershey bar is about 43 grams). And the results? Overall, there were small reductions in blood pressure, averaging 2-3 mm Hg. (Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury.)

This modest decrease is certainly no replacement for medicines in people with high blood pressure. But researcher Karin Ried of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine and the University of Adelaide in Australia says that flavanol-rich cocoa may "complement other treatment options and might contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease."

She says it's hard to recommend an optimal dose of chocolate since there was such a large range in the trials. But she says smaller doses may be as effective as larger ones.

It's been known for a while that flavanols can contribute to the formation of nitric oxide in the body, which has the effect of relaxing blood vessel walls.

And interestingly, meditation and mindfulness practices have been shown to have the same effect — albeit stronger — lowering blood pressure by 10 to 30 mm Hg. Of course, physical exercise, too, can produce similar results.

Randall Zusman of Massachusetts General Hospital, who has researched the mindfulness-blood pressure connection, tells The Salt that he is not surprised by this new finding about dark chocolate and blood pressure.

As a physician treating patients with high blood pressure, he says he often finds himself "ruining" their dietary lives by restricting their salt and carbs. "I can sometimes redeem myself by suggesting a little chocolate!"

He recommends chocolate with high cocoa content (70 percent). And, of course, modest amounts.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.