A new study on more than half a million adults suggests that eating three bars of chocolate in a month could reduce heart failure risk. Eating up to three bars monthly had a 13 percent lower risk of heart failure compared to those who ate none.
The reason behind it is cocoa present in chocolate. Cocoa called flavonoids to boost blood vessel health and help reduce inflammation.
But, the study also warned that eating too much chocolate could also lead to heart failure risk. Those who eat a large amount of chocolate have 18 percent higher risk of heart failure.
Lead researcher Dr Chayakrit Krittanawong, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, said: “I believe that chocolate is an important dietary source of flavonoids which are associated with reducing inflammation and increasing good cholesterol.”
“Most importantly, flavonoids can increase nitric oxide [a gas which expands blood vessels, helping circulation].”
“However, chocolate may have high levels of saturated fats. I would say moderate dark chocolate consumption is good for health.”
Victoria Taylor, a senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said, “Cocoa had been linked to a variety of health benefits. This large-scale analysis suggests that enjoying a moderate amount of chocolate might protect you against heart failure, but too much can be detrimental.”
“If you have a sweet tooth, make it an occasional small treat and go for dark chocolate with the highest cocoa content.”
Scientists have presented their study at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Munich.