Forget what you’ve heard about death by chocolate. A new Harvard study shows that chocolate may be good for your heart. It’s a great day for chocolate lovers everywhere.
Murray Mittleman and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School studied data on 31,823 middle-aged and elderly Swedish women to assess the relationship between chocolate and heart failure. The women who consumed an average of one to two servings (that’s a fairly small amount) of high-quality, cocoa-rich chocolate per week had a 32 percent lower risk of experiencing heart failure. Those women who ate 1 to 3 servings a month had a 26 percent lower risk of heart failure.
The scientists noted that the high concentration of phytonutrients called flavonoids in dark chocolate are potent antioxidants that are likely responsible for the results. The flavonoids are believed to lower blood pressure and reducing inflammation linked with heart failure.
Keep in mind that not just any chocolate will do. Forget the vast majority of candy bars on the market. The study results were achieved with high-quality, cocoa-rich chocolate. Read DARK chocolate. The darker the better. And, be sure the one you choose is low in sugar, has no trans or hydrogenated fats, and no artificial colors, flavors, or other synthetic ingredients.
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Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD