If you enjoy snacking on a piece of chocolate every once in a while, you’ll like the results of this recently published study. The study, which researched the association between chocolate consumption and atrial fibrillation, was published online in the journal Heart.
Atrial fibrillation or AFib is an irregular heart beat which can lead to a variety of heart-related complications. According to the American Heart Association 2.7 million Americans are currently living with AFib. While there is no known cure or much that can be done to prevent it, this new study suggests that weekly consumption of chocolate may lower the chance of developing AFib.
There have been numerous studies suggesting chocolate, more specifically dark chocolate, is good for your heart because of the flavonols found in cocoa beans. The results from this study on chocolate and AFib offer even more evidence.
Researchers used data from a Danish study that studied the lifestyle of 55,502 participants in Denmark. Participants of the study recorded extensive information about their exercise habits, food intake, health, and of course how much chocolate they consumed.
Elizabeth Mostofsky, one of the study’s authors and an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, stated that she was unsure if they would be able to find that chocolate reduced the risk of AFib because Danish people typically consumed milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is typically “better” for your heart because when it is processed less flavonols are lost.
After going over their research, Mostofsky and her colleagues were able to conclude that there was some correlation between chocolate consumption and a reduced risk for AFib. “The rate of atrial fibrillation was 20 percent lower for people consuming two to six servings [of chocolate] per week,” she told NPR.
While it is not advised to eat chocolate for every meal or even every day, it is worth mentioning that those who ate two to six servings a week did see the highest reduction in AFib. So next time you feel bad for eating that piece of chocolate just tell yourself it’s for your health.