You already have an excuse: eating chocolate is good for the heart

Not all is bad news when we talk about taking care of cardiovascular health and preventing a heart attack. The recommendations can go beyond dieting to lose belly fat and do cardiovascular exercise (which, too). Sometimes cardiologists give us a joy like the one published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the journal of the European Society of Cardiology. The news? Than eating chocolate at least once a week is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

The article that affirms such a marvel, made on Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, suggests that chocolate helps keep the heart's blood vessels healthy, something that was already suspected since in previous research it was already possible to verify that chocolate benefited other heart-healthy parameters, for example, helping to improve blood pressure.

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To reach this conclusion, the researchers analyzed several studies carried out in the last five decades in which the consumption of chocolate and coronary heart disease were associated. The analysis included six studies with a total of 336,289 patients which were followed, on average, for nine years. After that time, 14,043 developed atherosclerosis (when the coronary arteries narrow) and 4,667 suffered a heart attack.

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The data that interests us is that when they compared the population that ate chocolate and the population that did not discover that Eating chocolate more than once a week was associated with an 8% decrease in the risk of developing disease of the arteries. The explanation could be that chocolate contains heart-healthy nutrients such as flavonoids, methylxanthines, polyphenols and stearic acid that help reduce inflammation while increasing "good" cholesterol in the blood.

You already have an excuse to indulge yourself a couple of times a week, yes, it doesn't get out of hand: maybe dark chocolate is good for the heart in small doses, but the calories, sugar and fat in many of the chocolates sold in the supermarket have little heart-healthy. Always choose the chocolate with the highest proportion of cocoa, don't go overboard with the quantities … and enjoy.

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