It is possibly the greatest ‘legal’ indulgence one can have and is not restricted to any particular age group but is kosher for all to eat, the only warning being, just how much. Of course for some, it can become an addiction but for most it is a hearty indulgence that is welcomed in moderation and now according to a new research it may actually be good for health.
Chocolate, extracted from cocoa beans, comes in all shapes and sizes whether it is ice cream or just a plain candy bar, but it has never been prescribed as the healthiest of edibles, entailing high calories and fat but a new research has found that though it may not be very nutritious, chocolate could actually be a guard against strokes.
In a study conducted by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and published in the journal, Neurology, the researchers found that the occurrence of strokes, or cerebrovascular accident in which the blood supply and thus oxygen to the brain is temporarily impeded causing damage to the brain with likely effects on the rest of the body, is reduced or almost nil in those that had a good quantity of chocolate in their diets. The study took a sample of some 37,000 Swedish men, who were monitored for a decade and found that those eating the most chocolate were least likely to have strokes.
The sample was divided into four groups based upon the quantity of chocolate they consumed with the first group consuming no chocolate per week while the uppermost group consumed around 63g of it. During the course of the study it was found that comparing the first group and the last, the group that ate the most chocolate had a 17 per cent less risk of having a stroke than compared to those who ate no chocolate. The study pointed out that while milk chocolate was the most preferred among the sample of Swedish men, there are apparently more benefits in dark chocolate, which is known to be good for the heart.
Speaking about the study, Prof Susanna Larsson explained why chocolate had such a positive effect on the heart and preventing strokes, saying that, "The beneficial effect of chocolate consumption on stroke may be related to the flavonoids in chocolate. Flavonoids appear to be protective against cardiovascular disease through antioxidant, anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties. It's also possible that flavonoids in chocolate may decrease blood concentrations of bad cholesterol and reduce blood pressure."
Of course the study did caution that though chocolate may have health benefits it should not be over indulged in and that because of its high calorie and sugar content it should be eaten in “moderation.”