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Six Chocolate Bars a Week Could Be Good for the Heart

If you love chocolate but you refrain from indulging in it for fear that it might damage your health, have heart: Harvard University researchers say that eating up to six bars of chocolate a week could reduce your risk of a fatal heart attack. As reported by The Age, the benefit favored men; the effect for women was limited to just one bar a week.

Of all the treats available, chocolate (cacao) is one of the most craved foods in the world, and we’ve known for some time that dark chocolate, specifically, has some amazing health benefits. Cacao's health benefits are related to natural compounds in the bean, including epicatechin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and resveratrol, known for its neuroprotective effects.

Many studies have confirmed that cacao can benefit your heart, blood vessels, brain and nervous system, and helps combat diabetes and other conditions rooted in inflammation. Before you run off and buy a bunch of candy bars, though, you need to remember that not all chocolate is created equal. When we’re referring to health benefits, we mean chocolate that is as close to its natural cacao state as possible.

So, when selecting chocolate, look for higher cacao and lower sugar content. Your best bet is raw cacao nibs, which can be eaten whole or ground into powder for use in recipes. Also, while you’re nibbling your nibs, you might want to pair them with an apple, as dark chocolate and apples when paired have been shown to break up blood clots, thereby reducing your risk of stroke.
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