New research shows that eating chocolate may help lower the risk of having a stroke.
Study author Sarah Sahib, with McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and her colleagues analyzed three separate studies, two of which showed a link between the consumption of chocolate and a decreased risk of stroke.
In the first study, researchers found that nearly 45,000 people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22 percent less likely to have a stroke compared to people who did not eat any sweets. Meanwhile, a second study found that more than 1,000 respondents who consumed 50 grams of chocolate each week were 46 percent less likely to die following a stroke than those who eat no chocolate.
"More research is needed to determine whether chocolate truly lowers stroke risk, or whether healthier people are simply more likely to eat chocolate than others," concluded Sahib.
She added that chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, which may have a beneficial effect against stroke.
The third study that was analyzed found no link between chocolate and the risk of stroke or death.