How Sweet It Is: The Tasty Health Benefits Of Chocolate In Cutting Women's Risk Of Stroke
You've heard of death by chocolate, but health by chocolate? Not so much. Some sweet news for female chocolate lovers everywhere. A new Swedish study appearing in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology finds that women who eat a couple of small chocolate bars every week were 20 percent less prone to strokes than those who abstain. In fact, the more chocolate women consumed, the lower their risk of stroke.
“Even consuming a relatively small amount of chocolate had quite a large impact on stroke risk,” lead study author Susanna Larsson of Sweden's National Institute of Environmental Medicine explains. According to Larsson's findings, eating chocolate reduced the risk of hemorrhagic stroke caused by bleeding in the brain, as well as the most common type of stroke, ischemic stroke, caused by a cutoff of blood flow through the brain.
But, before you run out to the corner store and load up on chocolate bars, remember that when it comes to indulging in the decadent treat, moderation is key.
"Chocolate should be consumed in moderation as it is high in calories, fat and sugar. As dark chocolate contains more cocoa and less sugar than milk chocolate, consumption of dark chocolate would be more beneficial," Larsson suggests.
While the latest study needs additional research to be conclusive, the findings support previous studies showing that moderate consumption of chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, promotes cardiovascular health by aiding in the prevention of heart disease, and helps improve the way blood vessels function, keeping blood pressure in check, which reduces the risk of hypertension, a major contributor to stroke.
In the meantime, women chocolate lovers can rejoice knowing that adding chocolate to an already balanced diet isn't only sweet music to their mouths but possibly to their bodies as well.
[image via Getty images]