Don't be shy about nibbling at the ears of a chocolate bunny this Easter, because researchers have just given us another reason to eat this sweet treat. (Don't you love it when that happens?) Based on a study of 20,000 patients ages 35 to 65, scientists found that those who consumed more chocolate had a lower risk of heart attack and stroke, leading to the conclusion that a small amount of chocolate daily could help control your blood pressure.
We've already heard that dark chocolate has a similar effect, while also reducing stress and boosting the immune system. This study included milk, white, and dark chocolate — though researchers still say dark chocolate probably has the most health benefits. For further details of the study,
It's not entirely clear how the researchers were able to determine that it was chocolate that made the difference; Brian Buijsse of the German Institute of Human Nutrition says that more studies are needed. However, he adds, "a future recommendation could be that if people eat a small amount of chocolate, they can replace it for something else, maybe leaving out a snack or another sweet."
What is a small amount? Based on the study, the benefits were highest when people ate about a quarter of an ounce of chocolate daily — basically, a bite of a chocolate bar. So nibble those bunny ears, but don't eat the whole bunny.
Source: Flickr User SpecialKolin