Can That Chocolate Bunny Save Your Life?

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This is the kind of medical news that makes you jump for joy and that is consuming dark chocolate might actually save your life. Though we have read it over and over, another research in Germany has proven the benefits of chocolate.

Eating just one square of chocolate a day can cut the risk of heart attack and stroke by 39%, researchers have said. Researchers also discovered it can reduce high blood pressure as well.

Researchers in Germany followed 19,357 people aged between 35 and 65 for ten years. They found that those who ate the most amount of chocolate - an average of 7.5g a day, had lower chances of heart attacks and stroke than those who ate the least amount (1.7g a day on average).

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“To put it in terms of absolute risk, if people in the group eating the least amount of chocolate... increased their chocolate intake by six grammes a day, 85 fewer heart attacks and strokes per 10,000 people could be expected to occur over a period of about 10 years,” said lead researcher Brian Buijsse of the German Institute of Human Nutrition.

Past research has suggests the reason chocolate has such healthy benefits is flavanols, which recruit the gas nitric oxide to the cells that line the inner walls of blood vessels. Nitric oxide causes smooth muscles to relax, which may lower blood pressure. Flavanols are found in cocoa and as there is more cocoa in dark chocolate, this could explain why milk chocolate or white chocolate were found to be less effective, says the paper.

"Before you rush to add dark chocolate to your diet, be aware that 100g of dark chocolate contains roughly 500 calories. As such, you may want to subtract an equivalent amount of calories, by cutting back on other foods, to avoid weight gain," says Dr. Frank Ruschitzka of the University Hospital Zurich.

So give the gift of life this Easter by offering a small serving of chocolate to a loved one, who knows, it could save a life.

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