A few squares of dark chocolate a day could cut your risk of heart attack, say scientists.
A new study has found those who regularly eat chocolate have a lower risk of blood clotting problems which can trigger a deadly heart problems.
The researchers are advising people that eating a little bit of chocolate, especially the dark kind, or drinking hot cocoa regularly could be good for your health.
It is a message that will be welcomed by many Britons given that we are the biggest chocolate eaters in Europe.
Typically we munch our way through an average 22lb of chocolate per year, costing each of us around £72 annually.
The latest study, which could further boost sales, actually arose by accident out of other research into aspirin.
The trial by John Hopkins University involved hundreds of people who were asked to embark on exercise, stop smoking and cut out foods such as wine, chocolate and caffeine prior to the start of the trial.
Unfortunately 139 people were unable to give up their regular chocolate treat and when they admitted their 'crime' had to be excluded from the trial.
However lead researcher Diane Becker decided to monitor their blood anyway to see if the chocolate had any effect on them.
She looked at the activity of platelets, which can clump together and so cause clots.
If one of these clots leads to a blockage it can trigger a heart attack.
The team found the blood of those who were having a regular nibble of chocolate typically took an average of 130 seconds to clot when placed in a special hair-thin tube.
By contrast those who stayed away from chocolate had blood that clotted within 123 seconds.
Source - Daily Mail