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Does Chocolate Really Reduce Stroke Risk?

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If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ve likely heard that chocolate, when consumed in moderation, can have health benefits. One of the most commonly talked about health benefits is reduced risk for stroke. As a premier provider of stroke care in Fort Myers, we wanted to share how eating chocolate in moderation could prevent stroke risk for seniors and older adults.

Research & Studies

A recent Swedish study released in the journal, Neurology, indicates that chocolate may even help to reduce stroke risk. The study included more than 37,000 Swedish men ages 45 to 79. Over a 10-year period, there were 1,995 stroke cases. Of this group, those who enjoyed about one-third cup of chocolate chips each week were 17% less likely to have a stroke when compared to those that ate less.

Further evidence to support the correlation between moderate chocolate consumption and reduced stroke risk comes from research at the University of California at San Diego. Studies found that people who eat chocolate on a regular basis are thinner, and are also better educated, healthier, and tend to be less likely to smoke or have high blood pressure.

Chocolate Benefits

Chocolate contains flavonoids, an antioxident that may be responsible for the health benefits. Flavonoids protect against cardiovascular disease through anti-clotting and possess anti-inflammatory properties. The cocoa component of chocolate also has many heart-healthy properties. For instance, the flavonoids in cocoa lower blood pressure, increase “good” cholesterol (HDL) and improve the blood flow in arteries to help prevent clotting.

Dark vs. Milk Chocolate

According to studies, dark chocolate is still recommended more than milk chocolate for its health benefits. This may be associated with the cocoa content, with dark chocolate containing high levels of cocoa, up to 90%, and milk chocolate containing significantly less, around 30%.

While neither milk nor dark chocolate can replace a healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking, doctors can say that chocolate is not harmful and may actually reduce risk of stroke for seniors and older adults. That is something all chocolate lovers can enjoy!

Stroke Care with Home Care Assistance

If your aging parent or loved one has recently experienced a stroke or could use help at home with activities of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Fort Myers today and learn more about our options for hourly and live-in care. All of our services come backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and we never ask families to sign a long-term contract. Call 239-449-4701 and request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.