#1 Chocolate may reduce cardiovascular disease
In a study published in the journal Heart, researchers found that out of 21,000 people in Norfolk, England, who were tracked for 11 years, 12 per cent of chocolate consumers died or developed cardiovascular disease over the course of the study versus 17.4 per cent of people who didn’t eat chocolate.
While this was an observational study, which means it’s unable to prove cause and effect, Harvard Health Publishing noted that the non-chocolate consumers also had higher average weight, more artery-damaging inflammation, more diabetes, were less physically active and had diets with the least amount of fat. What this could potentially point to is a tendency among chocolate eaters to follow a healthy diet.
“Consuming chocolate in the presence of fruit and nuts may enhance someone’s ability to enjoy these other healthful foods, while also contributing additional nutritional value…[including] fibre, magnesium, iron and potassium,” De Santis says.Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate
#2 Chocolate can relieve inflammation
Inflammation can lead to a number of health issues, like sore muscles, headaches and even more serious diseases. While some inflammation in the body is good because it helps to ward off infection, having too much is dangerous.
This is where chocolate’s flavonoids come into play because they provide antioxidant benefits.
However, even more interesting is how these same flavonoids can modulate intestinal microbiota, thus triggering the growth of good gut bacteria, which supports anti-inflammation in the intestine.
One study noted that “addition of polyphenols to enteral nutrition in patients with inflammatory bowel disease may be beneficial.”