Before you get all excited and go running out for a Snickers bar, this article is about Cocoa and cocoa-containing products. Consuming excessive amounts of chocolate is not recommended because many chocolate products are high in calories, stemming from their sugar content to the amount of unhealthy fats a serving contains, which could lead to weight gain and other metabolic problems. One should always take things in moderation.
Previous studies have already shown the benefits of consuming cocoa-containing products and mostly recommend dark chocolate over other types of chocolates.
Recently a long-term study was published in the journal “Heart’ stating that eating cocoa and cocoa-containing foods may help with heart health, this is because cocoa has a high volume of flavanols. Flavanols are compounds that are believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and blood vessel-relaxing properties.
The study which wasn’t designed to prove cause and effect, tracked more than 55,000 people in Denmark over a period of 13 years and found that those who favored chocolate tend to have a lower risk of atrial fibrillation – which is an irregular heartbeat that raises the risk of stroke. The study didn’t specify the kind of chocolate these people were consuming but we’re guessing that those 55,000 people weren’t eating pure cocoa for 13 years.
The study found that those who ate a 1-ounce serving of chocolate at least 3 times a month showed a 10% lower risk of atrial fibrillation then who ate only 1 serving a month. The risk is reduced even further by 20% among those who ate two to six servings of chocolate a week.
Even though the study had its limitations, it had shown a link between moderate chocolate consumption and the reduced risk of atrial fibrillation. The study also showed that people who do regularly consume chocolate had also fewer health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
However, cardiovascular health relies on more than just chocolate intake alone. Factors such as regular exercise and other healthy behaviors are obvious benefits as well.
So if you are holding back on those chocolate cravings. We suggest that you just go for it.