Friday, April 9, 2010

Easter Bunny Delivers More Than Just Eggs!

The Easter Bunny may be delivering more than just a sweet treat over Easter with research finding that consuming just six grams of chocolate per day may lower blood pressure and the risk of stroke and myocardial infarction. German researchers examined the association between chocolate consumption and vascular disease based on food frequency questionnaires and blood pressure measurements in nearly 20,000 people aged 35 – 64 years who were free of stroke and myocardial infarction.

After eight years of follow up, those with the highest chocolate consumption (an average of six grams daily) had a 39% lower relative risk of myocardial infarction and stroke compared to those who consumed less than two grams per day.

The inverse relation of chocolate consumption appeared stronger for stroke than myocardial functions. Baseline blood pressure measurements accounted for 12% of the lower risk of cardiovascular events, the researchers said. “Flavonols appear to be the substances in cocoa that are responsible for improving the bioavailability of nitric oxide from the cells that line the inner wall of blood vessels” the researchers stated.

Participants were asked how frequently they consumed a 50gram chocolate bar from “never” to “five times a day or more”. In a subset of 1568 participants asked to recall their chocolate consumption over a 24 hours period, 57% reported eating milk chocolate, 24% ate dark chocolate and 2% ate white chocolate.

So, this research proves that a little bit of everything is ok and eating a small square of dark chocolate every day can be extremely beneficial to your health! Oh I am so happy to read this research ; 0

Source

European Heart Journal, online 31 March 2010

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