Chocolate May Protect Against Stroke
Being a chocolate eater was associated with a 17% decrease in total stroke risk
It's not very often that nutrition experts can recommend indulging regularly in a decadent food, but this is one of those times: Findings from a study published in Neurology suggest that regularly eating a small amount of chocolate might reduce stroke risk in men.
The study included more than 37,000 healthy men in Sweden, ages 45 to 79 years old, who answered a questionnaire about health, diet, and lifestyle habits and were then monitored for stroke for just over ten years.
Chocolate makes the difference in stroke risk
The results of the study showed the following:
"These findings suggest that moderate chocolate consumption may lower the risk of stroke," the study's authors said. They speculate that the benefits seen in chocolate eaters may be related to chocolate's high levels of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory flavonoids such as catechin and epicatechin. Chocolate is also rich in magnesium, a mineral that might contribute to stroke prevention.
Cut your stroke risk
For true choco-holics, 2 ounces of chocolate per week is a modest amount, but since there is no evidence to show whether eating more chocolate is helpful or harmful, this seems like a reasonable target for people wanting to eat chocolate for health. Here are some other things you can do to reduce your stroke risk:
Maureen Williams, ND, completed her doctorate in naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle and has been in private practice since 1995. With an abiding commitment to access to care, she has worked in free clinics in the US and Canada, and in rural clinics in Guatemala and Honduras where she has studied traditional herbal medicine. She currently lives and practices in Victoria, BC, and lectures and writes extensively for both professional and community audiences on topics including family nutrition, menopause, anxiety and depression, heart disease, cancer, and easing stress. Dr. Williams is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.