Eating a valentine chocolate every week may lower your risk of having a stroke, according to an analysis of available research to be presented in April at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto. Another study found that eating 1.75 ounces of chocolate once a week may help people survive a stroke, too.
The analysis, completed at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto, involved reviewing three studies on chocolate and stroke.
In the first study, people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22 percent less likely to have a stroke than those who ate none. In the second study, those who consumed 50 grams (1.7 oz) of chocolate once a week were 46 percent less likely to die following a stroke than the nonchocolate eaters. The third found no link between eating chocolate and risk of stroke or death.
Chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids and polyphenols which may help protect against stroke. A 1.4-ounce portion of dark chocolate contains an estimated 600 mg of polyphenols, compared to red wine (170 mg in 3.4 oz) or a medium apple (200 mg).
“More research is needed to determine whether chocolate truly lowers stroke risk, or whether healthier people are simply more likely to eat chocolate than others,” said Canadian study author Sarah Sahib, who suggests that additional and larger tests are needed.
Want to volunteer? Go to clinicaltrials.gov and search for “chocolate”. The last time we checked, we found five active studies related to chocolate.