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Want to prevent irregular heartbeat? Your favourite chocolate may be good for your heart, says study

Almost everyone loves chocolates. However, most of us think feel guilty when biting into the silky-smooth delicacy about increasing our weight and sugar intake. However now you can shed off that guilt! There is some respite for all those who love chocolate.


By   |  Updated On : May 24, 2017 03:30 PM
Prevent irregular heartbeat with your favourite chocolate

Prevent irregular heartbeat with your favourite chocolate

New Delhi :  

Almost everyone loves chocolates. However, most of us think feel guilty when biting into the silky-smooth delicacy about increasing our weight and sugar intake. However now you can shed off that guilt! There is some respite for all those who love chocolate. A new study that indicates that chocolates may be good for your heart has been published in the journal Heart.

Chocolate may be associated with a lower risk of getting atrial fibrillation. An irregular heart rhythm is called atrial fibrillation. The relationship was seen strongest in women who consumed one serving per week.

Research conducted at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and the Duke University Medical Centre has revealed that moderate consumption of chocolates may be related to a lower risk of developing atrial fibrillation.

An irregular heart rhythm, often with features of a very fast heart rate is referred to as atrial fibrillation. It can lead to poor blood flow which can cause brain failure and strokes and can even lead to death if not treated. The usual symptoms of atrial fibrillation are fatigue, heat palpitations, and breathlessness. 

Recently chocolates, especially dark chocolate has gained recognition for being friendly to the heart owing the presence of antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols. Data from over 55, 000 participants was analysed, aged between 50 and 54. The report was published in the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Study.

The participants were asked to consume a certain fixed amount of serving of chocolate per week each serving being equal to 30 grams. The type of chocolate consumed was not asked from them. Data on their diet, lifestyle and heart disease risk factors was collected from the participants.

Their heath was examined for a period of 13 years for episodes of hospital treatments and deaths from the national registry data, and it was observed that 3346 new cases of atrial fibrillation were diagnosed.

The results revealed that rates of AF were less for participants who ate chocolate regularly than those whose consumption was less than 30 gm per month which was equal to 1 serving.

The positive effect of chocolate consumption was the maximum when women consumed 1 serving of chocolate per week and men ate 2 to 6 servings of chocolate weekly. 

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It was seen that after considering all factors of heart disease, the newly diagnosed AF was lower for those who consumed 1 to 3 servings of chocolate per month. The chances of developing AF were 17 percent lower with one weekly serving of chocolate and 20 percent lower for 2 to 6 servings of chocolate and 14 percent lower with a daily consumption of one or more servings. However, though the actual cause is not yet known, they imply that snacking on dark chocolate can be a heathy choice for most people.

Dark chocolate is now seen as the new heathy food. Dark chocolate has a lot of raw processed cocoa beans which contain very high anti-oxidant properties. Raw cocoa beans rich in anti-oxidants like flavanols comprise dark chocolate. Dark chocolate also contains high levels of an alkaloid called theobromine which help in relaxing and stimulating. 

ALSO READ | Hot chocolate may contain more salt than a bag of crisps

It can also widen blood vessels and thereby lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate is also beneficial for the brain. A 2013 study published in the journal Neurology claims dark chocolate can increase memory by almost 30 percent and improve your skills of problem solving. 

Lastly, no need to worry about your weight when it comes to dark chocolate! Dark chocolate is known to have a high satiety value which reduces cravings. It is also having plenty of MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) that improve metabolism and help in burning fat.

First Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 01:36 PM


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