The two-week dark chocolate diet that reduces risk of heart disease

Eating dark chocolate daily for two weeks may lessen the risk of heart disease.

Eating a couple of chunks daily for a fortnight is enough to ward off high blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes, both major risk factors for heart attacks and strokes.

Although the healthy benefits of dark chocolate have been highlighted before, this is believed to be one of the first studies to show it can have such a rapid effect in preventing illness. The research raises the possibility that chocolate could help some patients boost their health without the need for prescription drugs.

Italian and US researchers who carried out the study deliberately chose a small group of patients who already had problems with blood pressure and the early stages of diabetes. But they stressed only dark chocolate is good for the heart. Milk chocolate, which is more popular in Britain, does not contain the same quantities of disease-busting ingredients. Heart disease is Britain's biggest killer, claiming the lives of one in five men and one in six women.

In recent years scientists have discovered certain plant-based foods and drinks such as fruits, vegetables, red wine tea and cocoa can protect the heart against disease. This is because they are all rich in natural ingredients call flavanols, a type of chemical found in plants. Cocoa beans, the main ingredient for chocolate, contain relatively high levels of flavanols.

Source - Daily Mail

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