Your heart’s sweet spot?
You will love what the research says
The fridge magnet joke that says ‘a balanced diet is chocolate in both hands’ might not stray too far from the truth. A recent study from Denmark published in the journal
Heart confirms that eating chocolate regularly is good for you – just swap the piles for a couple of squares, and savour them once a week, then you’re right on point with science.
Examining the eating habits of 29,100 women aged between 50 and 64 years (as part of the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Study), the researchers found a weekly serving of 30 grams (that’s 2-3 squares) is the healthy sweet spot for your heart. Eating this amount lowers the likelihood of heart flutter (an irregular heartbeat, also known as atrial fibrillation) by 21 per cent.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects some 330,000 Australians, with one in four adults worldwide likely to develop it at some time. High blood pressure, too much caffeine and alcohol can cause your heart to quiver, which can lead to blood clots. In fact, people with AF are five times more likely to suffer a stroke, according to the Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute.
So back to the magnet and why chocolate is good for you. The cocoa in chocolate is rich in flavonoids, the antioxidants linked with heart health and circulation. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa (and less sugar!), making it a richer source of flavonoids for you to enjoy.