Good news for chocolate lovers! Recent studies have shown that there are more benefits to eating chocolate than we knew. A recent small trial found that eating chocolate helped those with peripheral artery disease, which impairs blood circulation. People who eat chocolate cut their risk for heart failure by as much as a third. It can also lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by 39 percent.
But not so fast! Before you grab a chocolate bar, you should know that these results come largely from studies involving dark chocolate, not milk chocolate. There are components in dark chocolate that come from cacao, which is packed with healthy chemicals like flavonoid, polyphenols, and theobromine. The more cacao content, the healthier the chocolate. So stick with chocolate that is at least 70 percent cacao for the best benefit.
Eating dark chocolate consistently is the best strategy. You should try to include about seven to eight ounces of dark chocolate in your diet each week for the maximum benefit. Any more than that and you will be adding more calories without much increase in health benefits.