Chocolate Day 2019: Guess what, your favourite sweet indulgence is good for your heart too!

Chocolate Day 2019: Guess what, your favourite sweet indulgence is good for your heart too!
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Chocoholics, rejoice! Eating up to three bars of chocolates every month can lower the risk of heart failure, a study claims. However, indulging in such treats on a daily basis may increase the risk of heart failure by 17 per cent, according to researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the US. The research, presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Germany, looked at five studies involving more than 575,000 individuals.

Scientists found those eating up to three bars monthly had a 13 per cent lower risk of heart failure compared to those who ate none, 'The Telegraph' reported.

Natural compounds in cocoa called flavonoids boost blood vessel health and help reduce inflammation, researchers said.

"I believe that chocolate is an important dietary source of flavonoids which are associated with reducing inflammation and increasing good cholesterol," said lead researcher Chayakrit Krittanawong, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the US.

Most importantly, flavonoids can increase nitric oxide -- a gas which expands blood vessels, helping circulation, Krittanawong said.

"However, chocolate may have high levels of saturated fats. I would say moderate dark chocolate consumption is good for health," he said.

Researchers behind the study said further trials were needed to confirm the results.

This is not the only study that claims good effect of chocolate. Below are a few reasons why you shouldn’t be guilty with the next bite of chocolate:

1) Chocolate help improve cognitive function

Studies conducted on chocolate have shown that the lip smacking delicious chocolate drinks keep the brain healthy and reduce memory decline in older people. Drinking hot glass of chocolate everyday is known to improve the blood flow in the brain and improving the cognitive function.

2) Boosts athletic performance

For fitness enthusiasts who miss out on chocolate, here’s another good news. Eating dark chocolate helps boosts oxygen during fitness training. This is because dark chocolate has flavanols known as epicatechins that enhances the release of nitric oxide in the body.

3) Chocolate reduces the risk of heart attack

Studies conducted on chocolate lovers showed that their blood platelets clump together more slowly preventing blood clots. This hence, reduces the risk of heart attack among individuals.

4) Chocolate is good for your skin

Behold skin-care lovers, chocolate should be your next sunscreen. The flavonoids found in dark chocolate might actually protect your skin from the Sun’s harmful UV rays. It is also known to prevent causing breakouts. Chocolates will definitely make a place in your diet now!

5) Chocolate boosts your mood

What better reason to eat chocolate than to make yourself beaming with happiness? Eating chocolate according to studies have been known to reduce stress and lighten the mood altogether. With that, you can indulge your sweet tooth with some chocolate and be happy!

6) Chocolate helps improve vision

Chocolate is known to increase the blood flow which ultimately rushes the blood flow in the retina. Eating chocolate hence, can improve your vision.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Saturday, February 09, 2019 07:55 AM

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