Moderate chocolate consumption in men may help them reduce their risk of stroke...
In the research, scientists examined the dietary habits of 37,000 Swedish men and followed them for 10 years, identifying close to 2,000 participants who suffered a stroke during this period.
The findings revealed that men who ate approximately one third of a cup of chocolate chips lowered their stroke risk by 17 percent compared to those who avoided chocolate.
Even after factoring in other risk factor data collected on the men, such as obesity, high blood pressure and smoking, the results still held.
Although most of the men in the study ate milk chocolate, Larsson expects the results would have been the same with the dark variety. However, she recommends dark chocolate as the better choice because it would only be necessary to eat half the amount to get the same benefit.
Eating less of this rich food would reduce the risk of weight gain, explains Larsson.
While the scientists do not know exactly why chocolate produced the benefit, Larsson postulates it may be due to the flavonoid content, compounds that appear to enhance cardiovascular health through antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting effects. "There are several potential mechanisms," she says.
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