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Another Reason To Love Chocolate

A first of its kind study published in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine found that eating more chocolate may help you survive longer following a heart attack.

For the study, researchers followed 1,169 non-diabetic patients hospitalized for a heart attack between 1992 and 1994 in Stockholm County, Sweden.

The participants filled out a questionnaire to determine chocolate consumption and were then followed for 8 years.

The researchers found that consuming chocolate 2 or more times per week was associated with a 66% reduction in cardiac mortality. Eating chocolate just once in a month was associated with a 27% reduction in cardiac mortality and up to once per week was associated with a 44% reduction.

Most prior studies have only focused on dark chocolate, which has been shown to have the highest health benefits of all chocolates. This study, however, did not differentiate between the different types of chocolate.

The findings of this study support a growing body of evidence confirming the health benefits of chocolate. The high levels of antioxidants in chocolate as well as its anti-inflammatory properties are most often cited as the source of these health benefits.

These antioxidants, called flavonols, have been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease>, improve skin health and increase blood flow to the brain.

While eating chocolate seems to have some very clear benefits, you should avoid eating more than one serving (20g) a day. The high saturated fat content can easily cancel out any antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

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