At last! Science has finally begun to validate my long-held personal belief in the beneficial power of chocolate! We know that chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is beneficial to our heart health.
Chocolate is loaded with flavonoids which have powerful antioxidant properties known to be beneficial to our heart health and protect and repair against environmental toxins and damage caused by free radicals. What we are just now learning is that chocolate may also be beneficial to your heart health after a heart attack as well.
A joint US-Swedish study recently released results from an eight (8) year program indicating that consumption of chocolate may be beneficial in reducing your risk of dying of heart disease even if you have already suffered a heart attack. This was the first study to specifically track the effects of chocolate on heart health after a heart attack. During the course of the study, the researchers followed 1169 men and women after they suffered their first heart attack. All participants were non-diabetic. The researches controlled for variables such as age, sex, obesity, physical activity/inactivity, smoking, education, etc. After considering the impact of the various variables, the researchers found that the participants who consumed greater amounts of chocolate had a greater survival rate than those consuming lesser amounts of chocolate. Yes, you heard me right. The relationship was directly proportional to the amount of chocolate the participants consumed. The more chocolate consumed, the better the survival rate!
The researchers reported the following regarding reduction of risk of cardiac death as it related to the consumption of chocolate:
• Chocolate consumed less than once a month: 27% reduction
• Chocolate consumed once a week: 44% reduction
• Chocolate consumed 2 or more times a week: 66% reduction
I don’t care how you look at it, a 66% reduction in risk of cardiac death is significant! I like it!
Before stocking up on a year’s supply of chocolate, the study did come with a few “buyer-bewares.”