We already know that chocolate can lower the risk of heart disease, but now there’s yet another cardiac reason to keep snacking on chocolate: A new study published by Danish scientists in the medical journal Heart has also linked the consumption of cocoa products to heart health. Elizabeth Mostofsky, an epidemiology instructor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the lead author of the study, says that regular consumption of chocolate can actually help with or reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation — more commonly known as irregular heartbeat.
The long-term study used data collected from over 55,000 respondents in Denmark. Participants in the study who ate chocolate between one and three times a month were 10 percent less likely to develop an irregular heartbeat than those who did not eat chocolate as often, and people who ate chocolate up to six times a week were 20 percent less likely to develop irregular heart conditions.
"I think our message here is that moderate chocolate intake as part of a healthy diet is an option," Mostofsky explained to Reuters.
The researchers want to emphasize the fact that it is still unknown whether the connection found between chocolate and heart health indicates causation or simply correlation.