After a bad day at the office, a row with a loved one, or when the kids are finally asleep after hours of Supernanny-style tactics, sometimes nothing beats biting into a slab of your favourite chocolate to help you wind down.
We don’t really need convincing that chocolate is good for the soul, but it is nice to know that science suggests it’s also good for the body. Chocolate good for your heart? It would seem so!
A new study has indicated that chocolate consumption reduces the risk of stroke in men. The study – involving more than 37,000 men followed up over 10 years – showed that, on average, those who ate the most chocolate (equivalent to a third of a cup of chocolate chips per week) reduced their risk of stroke by 17% compared with those who ate no chocolate at all.
The study’s primary author, Dr Susanna Larsson, commented: ‘This is the first of its kind study to find that chocolate may be beneficial for reducing stroke in men.’
The researchers speculate that the beneficial effect seen with chocolate consumption may be down to the flavonoid chemicals contained in chocolate, which have antioxidant, anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties.
The results of this study in men furthers the findings from a similar study from 2011 in more than 33,000 women, also followed up for 10 years, where it was shown that the group eating the most chocolate (a median of 2.3 ounces per week) got the most benefit, reducing stroke risk by 20%.
When asked which type of chocolate good for your heart, Dr Larsson said: “What we have been recommending is at least 70% cocoa.” So splash out on some of the dark stuff and enjoy twice a week!
Please be aware that chocolate is considered by some as a migraine trigger.
Make sure you know it’s not one of yours before you decide to add a little extra to your diet!