Eating chocolate keeps your heart hale and hearty: Scientists have found that daily consumption of moderate amounts of both dark and milk chocolate can help lower risk of stroke and heart disease.

Benefits Of Chocolate

is a favorite confection among all age groups. Discovered by the Aztecs in the form of a drink, chocolate has become synonymous in the modern world with love, guilty pleasure and decadence.

British and Scottish scientists have now found that eating up to a 100g of dark and milk chocolate everyday can help contribute to a lowered risk of stroke and heart disease, even though previous studies have mostly termed just dark chocolate as beneficial for the heart.

Benefits Of Chocolate — Findings On Consumers 

The findings were based on data collected from the 21,000 adults, which took part in the EPIC-Norfolk study. The study was done using lifestyle and food frequency questionnaires to track the impact of diet on long-term health of men and women from Norfolk.

The study also considered the health benefits of milk chocolate which although thought to be “less healthy” than dark chocolate, was eaten far more frequently by the participants of the EPIC study.

It was based on the fact that not only flavonoids but also compounds such as calcium and fatty acids, which make up the milk chocolate, might contribute to beneficial health effects.

About 20% of the participants stated that they did not consume any chocolate while those that did, had daily consumption levels of around 7g with some eating as much as 100g per day.

Eating more chocolate was linked with lower blood pressure, BMI, diabetes, younger age, higher energy intake and regular physical activity. All of these factors add up to a favorable cardiovascular risk profile. Also those that ate more had a diet consisting of more carbs and fats, but less alcohol and protein.

The Research

Additionally the researchers also conducted a systemic review of all available published evidence, which associated cardiovascular disease and chocolate. Including the EPIC study chocolate health benefits participants, the data involved was gathered from almost 158,000 people.

Professor Phyo Myint, from the School of Medicine and Dentistry of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, commented in press release, “Our study concludes that collective evidence suggests higher chocolate intake is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events.”

The participants of the study were monitored for almost 12 years during which time 14% of the people experienced either a stroke or coronary heart disease. When compared to those who ate no chocolate, an 11% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 25% lower risk of associated death registered in those with higher chocolate intake.

Stroke risk was found to be 23% lower even when other risk factors were taken into account. The researchers concluded, “Moderate consumption of chocolate does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.” But they also warned that this did not mean that chocolate made you healthier.

The research was published online in the British Medical Journal Heart. It was conducted by academics from the Universities of Aberdeen, Cambridge, Manchester and East Anglia.