New study reveals that eating chocolate every day could help save your life
We've all got different tastes and palates, but while the internet is inundated with fiery debates on the merits of mushrooms and pineapple on pizza (for the record, it's an emphatic no from me on both counts), I think we can all agree on the fact that chocolate is awesome.
Stir it into your desserts, drizzle it atop a scoop of ice cream or chow down in its various candy bar forms, we all love the stuff, don't we? Of course, due to its large sugar content, we try to stay away from chocolate. But on this occasion, science has decided to be our friend, and explain why in some ways, chocolate ain't so bad after all.
A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explained that for the sake of your blood pressure, responsible for controlling your risk of a stroke, you should probably be eating chocolate. Or, at least, taking a cocoa flavanol supplement on a regular basis. But that doesn't sound as fun, does it?
"People can decrease their blood pressure by having a daily intake of flavanols," explained Dr Ana Rodriguez Mateo of Kings College London, who's also the lead researcher of this rather handy study. So, how did the scientists come to this conclusion?
Well, they looked at 45 healthy German men between the ages of 18 and 35, and took their blood pressure readings over the course of about a month. Splitting the men into three groups of 15, the subjects were given either a high or low dose of cocoa flavanol, or a dummy pill.
Here's what they found: those test subjects on the higher dosage of flavanol reported higher levels of blood pressure than the lower dosage or the dummy pill poppers. Dr Mateo confirmed this, saying: "Those taking the high dose of cocoa flavonols had an average six-point drop in blood pressure."
"We have done a number of studies and the evidence is stronger for people who already have high blood pressure, but we need more clinical data to be sure. We haven’t got trials studying people over many years but we would assume that short term results would be the same over a number of years."
But before you stuff that entire Kit-Kat into your mouth, I'm sorry to say that this doesn't exactly mean you can just eat chocolate and live forever. I wish it meant that, I really do. Dr Mateo explains that you'd have to eat a whole load of chocolates to see the effects, and the corresponding sugar levels would probably render all that hard work useless.
"You would have to eat huge quantities of chocolate to get this level of flavanols, and even if you tried you would be cancelling out any benefit by eating vast amounts of extra fat and sugar at the same time."
Ah well, folks. Even though it can't reduce your blood pressure, chocolate's already great for improving your mood, with plenty of antioxidants - plus, it might help to get rid of colds. So you've got plenty of explanations for biting into that extra candy bar.