A Sweet Notion: Eat Dark Chocolate Every Day for a Healthy Heart
The SuperFoodsRx doctors have been telling us that dark chocolate is a SuperFood for several years. Now a new study published in the journal Heart found (yet again) that daily consumption of dark chocolate may help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes.
In this new study, researchers tracked about 20,000 adults in England for 12 years. These 20,000 participants filled out food-frequency questionnaires, from which the researchers gauged different levels of chocolate consumption.
“The group with the greatest benefit generally ate 16 to 100 grams per day,” according to study author Phyo Myint of the University of Aberdeen, in an email to NPR. A standard chocolate bar has about 43 grams.
All that goodness for the heart lies in the cocoa bean and the the plant compounds found in the beans. These powerful bioactive plant compounds are called polyphenols, and they may help protect against heart disease.
JoAnn Manson, chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, was quick to point out to NPR that the study only shows an association, not a clear link. “It doesn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship between chocolate and reduced risk of heart disease and stroke,” she said.
Manson and other researchers plan to launch another large-scale study on the polyphenols in chocolate in capsule form, without the sugar, fat and calories found in the chocolate we know. They are determined to learn more about chocolate and heart health.
For now, we can wait for the results of the upcoming study with our dark chocolate bars in hand. Remember: Enjoy your healthy dark chocolate treat in moderation.