With Easter just around the corner, researchers have discovered some great news for chocolate lovers. According to a new study, consuming a small amount of dark chocolate each day can significantly reduce a person’s blood pressure and lower their risk of heart disease.
For the research, German investigators analyzed the dietary and exercise habits of nearly 20,000 people under the age of 65 for a period of at least eight years.
After evaluating the data, the research team found that those who ate an average of 7.5 grams of dark chocolate each day had lower blood pressure and were nearly 40 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those who consumed the least amount of chocolate.
"It’s a bit too early to come up with recommendations that people should eat more chocolate, but if people replace sugar or high-fat snacks with a little piece of dark chocolate, that might help," said the study’s lead author Brian Buijsse, a nutritional epidemiologist at the German Institute of Human Nutrition.
However, he also cautioned chocolate consumption should not increase daily caloric intake or replace healthy foods.