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Your Heart Truly Loves Chocolate!

Eating small doses of chocolate has been shown to lower your risk of a stroke or heart attack.

A new study indicates that eating chocolate each day can be good for your heart.  According to this study from the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Nuthetal, Germany, eating small amounts of chocolate can reduce your risk of a stroke or heart attack by 40%.

To obtain their results, German scientists followed 20,000 people over eight years.  They sent them a daily questionnaire about their diet and exercise.  The people in this survey had no history of heart disease and had similar healthy habits.  Researchers found that those who ate about a square of chocolate a day obtained these positive results of a lower risk of stroke or heart attack.

Experts theorize that it is the flavonols in chocolate that are having this positive impact.  Flavonols can cause muscles in blood vessels to widen and thus lower blood pressure.

Brian Buijsse from German Institute of Human Nutrition stated, “It’s a bit too early to come up with recommendations that people should eat more chocolate, but if people replace sugar or high-fat snacks with a little piece of dark chocolate, that might help.”

Of course, don’t take these findings as an excuse to go out and gorge on chocolate!  Eating large amounts of chocolate can quickly pack on the pounds.  Also when you are choosing chocolate, be sure to opt for a choice with high cacao content.  Avoid milk chocolate bars from the grocery store as have a lower ratio of the beneficial elements.  They are also packed with sugar and often include artificial ingredients as well.

Aside from lowering your risk of stroke and heart attack, dark chocolate has other beneficial properties.  It boosts good cholesterol and lowers stress and anxiety.  The flavonoids in chocolate have also been shown to fight aging.

Sources:
news.yahoo.com
denverpost.com

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