Chocoholics have one more reason to justify their habit, thanks to new research reported by the American Heart Association.
Researchers have found a link between daily chocolate consumption and heart health, according to recent findings presented at the association's Epidemiology/Lifestyle 2016 Scientific Sessions.
The study looked at the eating and lifestyle habits of more than 1,100 adults ages 18 to 69 over the course of two years, and determined that consuming 100 mg of chocolate every day correlated with lower insulin resistance and liver enzymes, which are indicators of heart disease risk.
Chocolate lovers are more likely to be younger, more physically active, and have fewer chronic health issues than those who don't partake, according to the study.
The research is the latest in a growing body of evidence supporting chocolate as part of a healthy diet. Last month, a study published in the journal Appetite concluded that regularly chowing down on the dark stuff leads to better cognitive brain function—including stronger working memory, spatial organization, and reasoning skills.
Delish.com reports that the positive effects of our favorite dessert are due to cocoa flavanols, a subgroup of flavonoids found in chocolate. Dark chocolate (30% to 70% cocoa) contains the highest levels of flavanols, which are also present in grapes, apples, and red wine.
Now, if you'll please excuse us, we have a lunch date with a chocolate bar.