If chocolate is the forbidden fruit of your diet, it may be time to reintroduce this tasty treat to your weekly menu. A recent study reported in the American Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that women who eat at least two chocolate bars every week have a 20 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those who don’t eat any chocolate at all.
Researchers monitored more than 33,000 adult females between the ages of 49 and 83 years for this study, and divided them into several categories based on daily chocolate consumption. The study was conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
The outcome of this study suggests that cocoa powder – which is very high in flavonoids – can suppress the oxidation of bad cholesterol and thereby reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. The consumption of chocolate in moderate amounts has proven to be very beneficial for health overall. Several studies demonstrate that chocolate is good for the cardiovascular system because it supports healthy circulation. It can also improve insulin resistance and regulate blood pressure in some people.
Data for this study was gathered from the Swedish Hospital Discharge Registry over a 10-year period. Researchers found that women who ate the most chocolate (an average of about 2.3 ounces per week) had the lowest risk of stroke and this equates to about a 20 percent lower rate than those who never ate chocolate. Dark, organic and plain chocolate has the highest concentration of cocoa and may be the most beneficial for overall health.
Talk to your physician about the health benefits of chocolate and other ways to ward off stroke and cardiovascular diseases.