With high levels of heart disease and strokes in many parts of south and east London, there is good news for those of you who choose this time of year to indulge in chocolate – it really is good for you!
New research has shown that you are less likely to have a heart attack if you eat chocolate, especially dark chocolate made up of 70% cocoa.
June Davidson from the British Heart Foundation said: “Dark chocolate has had a lot of publicity about it being beneficial and that’s due to the flavonols that are actually in the cocoa. There’s some suggestion that chemical has heart-protecting effects.”
A new study published in European Heart Journal showed that regularly consuming a little bit of chocolate a day helps to reduce blood pressure which further lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Cardiovascular diseases are the UK’s biggest killers and claim over 200,000 lives a year. Lewisham and Tower Hamlets still have high death rates caused by CVD.
The study carried out by German nutritionists found that eating 7.5 grams of chocolate daily could reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke by 39% and could also lead to lower blood pressure.
Senior Heart Health Dietician at the British Heart Foundation, Victoria Taylor said:
“This sounds like a dream for chocolate lovers and just in time for Easter too, but it’s important to read the small print with this study. The amounts consumed on average by even the highest consumers was about one square of chocolate a day or half a small chocolate Easter egg in a week, so the benefits were associated with a fairly small amount of chocolate.”