Eating Chocolate Linked to Lower Risk of Heart Flutter
It wasn’t that long ago that most people believed chocolate was unhealthy. But today research shows that eating a few ounces of chocolate each week has several heart-healthy benefits.
Studies show that it can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack. Regular consumption of chocolate may even help lower your chances of an early death from a cardiovascular event.
Do you often experience backaches, joint pain, weak bones, memory problems or other “age-related” health issues? You’re not alone.
Many of these common health burdens are simply due to a vitamin deficiency experienced by a whopping 75% of adults in the U.S. The good news is that this deficiency can be corrected quickly, easily and inexpensively.
Given all of these great effects on heart health, a group of researchers wanted to find out if chocolate might also be able to help reduce rates of atrial fibrillation. (Some people refer to this condition as a heart flutter or irregular heartbeat.)
One Serving of Chocolate a Week May Lower Risk of Heart Flutter by 10%
Using data from the long-running Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Study, the research team analyzed chocolate consumption among 55,502 men and women between the ages of 50 and 64.
Over a 13.5-year follow-up period, regular chocolate eaters were compared to those who ate less than a one-ounce serving each month. Here’s what they learned:
- Those who ate one to three one-ounce servings a month had a 10% lower rate of atrial fibrillation
- Men and women eating one serving a week had a 17% lower rate
- People who enjoyed two to six servings each week had a 20% lower rate
The strongest association for women seemed to be one weekly serving of chocolate (21% lower risk). For men, it was two to six weekly servings (23% lower risk).
Considering the fact that there is currently no medical cure for atrial fibrillation, this may be great news for the 33 million people worldwide who are plagued with the condition.
Which Type of Chocolate Should You Buy?
Study author Elizabeth Mostofsky points out that most of the chocolate consumed by the study participants was unlikely to contain large concentrations of protective ingredients. This suggests that even a small amount of cocoa can have positive health benefits.
However, keep in mind that most chocolates contain a lot of fat and sugar, which can have a decidedly negative impact on your weight and metabolism.
This being said, your best bet is to choose a good quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. Then, enjoy it in moderation.
Kwok CS, et al. Habitual chocolate consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease among healthy men and women. Heart. 2015 Aug;101(16):1279-87.
Regular chocolate consumption may be linked to lower risk of heart flutter. News Release. BMJ. May 2017.
Eating chocolate may decrease risk of irregular heartbeat. Press Release. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. May 2017.
Mostofsky E, et al. Chocolate intake and risk of clinically apparent atrial fibrillation: the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study. Heart. Published Online First: 23 May 2017.
Dana Nicholas is a freelance writer and researcher in the field of natural and alternative healing. She has over 20 years of experience working with many noted health authors and anti-aging professionals, including James Balch, M.D., Dr. Linda Page, “Amazon” John Easterling and Al Sears M.D. Dana’s goal is to keep you up-to-date on information, news and breakthroughs that can have a direct impact on your health, your quality of life… and your lifespan. “I’m absolutely convinced that America’s misguided trust in mainstream medicine – including reliance on the government to regulate our food and medicine supply – is killing us, slowly but surely,” she cautions. “By sharing what I’ve learned throughout the years I hope I can empower others to take control over their own health.”