Go ahead, pair that antioxidant-rich glass of red with your favorite chocolate bar — for the sake of your health, of course. As it turns out, chocolate could indeed have some seriously positive effects on your heart. According to Munchies, a team of American, Canadian, and Danish researchers studied the relationship between chocolate and atrial fibrillation (AF), a threatening form of abnormal heartbeat that affects nearly 15 million people across America and Europe.
The study reportedly took 55,502 participants (over 26,000 men and 29,000 women) between the ages of 50 and 64, of which 3,300 participants suffered from AF. The shocking results? Participants who consumed chocolate two to three times per week were ten percent less likely to suffer from AF. Even better, those who consumed chocolate two to six times per week were twenty percent less likely to suffer from the abnormality! Daily consumers of chocolate were only sixteen percent less likely to develop AF, making two to six times per week consumption the ideal amount.
Dark chocolate provided many more health benefits than milk chocolate, thanks to the higher flavonoid content. It’s also worth noting that these benefits become disadvantageous when paired with other high-calorie ingredients, such as excess fat, milk, and sugar.
Best way to get your benefits? Stick to a piece of solid dark chocolate — paired with your favorite glass of red, of course.