Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, which we well know are vital for fighting cancer-causing free radicals in the body. But according to researchers, they may also help reduce heart disease among men.

As reported by Today Health, researchers from Sweden published a new study in the journal Neurology, linking consumption of chocolate to the reduction of stroke among men.

Participants included about 37,000 men between the ages of 49 and 75. Researchers observed the men’s diets, chocolate consumption, and hospital visits for 10 years.

At the end of the study, researchers surveyed 4,260 of the men who had experienced a stroke, and found that those who ate more chocolate had a lower chance of stroke than those who did not.

Specifically, they found chocolate consumption to be most beneficial at up to one-third cup weekly. Researchers said those who ate additional chocolate saw a lowered risk of a stroke by up to 14 percent.

The study didn’t require the men to eat a specific type of chocolate, so participants were left with the freedom to choose what type of chocolate they wanted. As a result, Swedish researchers found that lowered risk of stroke among the men did not rest on the shoulders of dark chocolate.

The study’s author, Susanna Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, commented on the type of chocolate the men were eating. “About 90% of the chocolate intake in Sweden, including what was consumed during our study, is milk chocolate.” This is surprising as most studies on the topic focus on the benefits of dark chocolate.

Women shouldn’t shy away from chocolate either. A 2011 Swedish study found that consumption of chocolate among women reduced chances of a stroke by up to 20 percent.

The following are just a few more health benefits of eating chocolate.

1. One ounce of chocolate is filled with more antioxidants than a glass of red wine.

2. Antioxidants keep the heart and body healthy.

3. Dark chocolate is filled with flavonoids that protect skin from ultraviolet lights.

3. Chocolate helps thin the blood like aspirin, thus improving blood flow.

4. Chocolate helps the body produce more serotonin and endorphins, which helps one’s emotional and mental state.

For men and women who have a sweet tooth, this new study couldn’t be better news. However, an over-indulgence may cause health problems for some. The new study is not advocating eating as much chocolate as you want. Instead, it is linking moderate chocolate consumption to the reduction of stroke. Remember, moderation is key and not all chocolate is created equal.

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