Dark chocolate for heart health?

I admit, chocolate is my Achilles heel… nothing beats the taste of a good quality dark chocolate (not to mention the comfort it brings after a tough day).

But like most things in life, when it comes to eating chocolate, moderation is key. And of course, steer clear from the sickly sweet milk chocolate varieties.

On the plus side, when you do enjoy dark chocolate occasionally, you cash in on a whole bunch of health benefits too. And according to the latest research one of these health benefits is reducing the risk of atrial fibrillation or A-fib.

A-fib is characterized by an irregular, rapid heartbeat and as if that wasn’t scary enough, it also raises your risk of stroke.

Danish researchers looked at the chocolate consumption of 55,000 people between the ages of 50 and 64 over a 12-year period. And they found that people who ate between one to three 1-oz servings of chocolate each month were 10 per cent less likely to develop a-fib, compared to those who ate less or no servings of chocolate.

And the more chocolate participants ate, the LOWER their risk was. For female participants in particular, eating an ounce of chocolate once a week lowered the risk of A-fib by 21 per cent.

Two to six weekly servings led to a risk reduced by, on average, 20 per cent. And gentleman, the news is even better for you – because the greatest risk reduction in the entire study was for men who ate two to six weekly servings, who lowered their chances of A-fib by 23 per cent!

Right, I know what you you’re thinking: If you’re eating three 1-oz servings a week, it seems sounds like quite a lot. Well, not really because 3-oz is the same as 100gr – a standard slab of chocolate.

The bottom line is dark organic chocolate in moderation can be a very good thing!

So, make sure you eat you eat dark chocolate that has a low sugar content with a high cacao content – previous research has shown that antioxidant-rich cacao improve your blood vessel function.

And maintaining healthy blood vessels is essential to preventing a-fib.

To a healthier and happier life,

Thomas Smith