Namely: a new study suggests that eating chocolate regularly may decrease the risk of cardiovascular events–and stroke–in people who were otherwise healthy.
To come to these findings, researchers looked at a huge sample of adults (almost 21,000) from the UK’s EPIC-Norfolk study. And they found that those who ate the most chocolate had a 25-percent lower risk of cardiovascular-related death and 23-percent lower risk of stroke than those who ate no chocolate. And that’s over a 12-year follow-up. In addition, the chocolate-eaters had an 11-percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease than the non-chocolate-eaters.
What’s more, a separate meta-analysis of more than 155,000 participants in studies designed to examine chocolate’s effect on cardiovascular risk showed similar findings.
This isn’t the first time I’ve told you about chocolate’s benefits. (I discussed its brain benefits just a few months ago.) Thanks to an abundance of those disease-fighting antioxidant compounds called flavonols, it’s a wonder food. Just make sure you’re choosing a minimally-processed bar with at least 70-percent cacao–and preferably 85-plus. (That supermarket checkout-line bar that’s loaded with goopy caramel doesn’t count. Nor does a hot fudge sundae.)
Kwok CS, Boekholdt SM, Lentjes MA, et al. Habitual chocolate consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease among healthy men and women. Heart 2015; DOI:10.1136/heartjnl-2014-307050.