Your heart’s sweet spot?

You will love what the re­search says

Prevention (Australia) - - In This Issue -

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.

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