When planning your diet – don’t forget the chocolate! Dark chocolate that is. Seems that a new study shows that incorporating a small piece of dark chocolate into your diet once or twice a week – but that’s all – has been shown to help reduce the risk of developing heart failure by up to 32%. To me that is a significant enough number to start eating chocolate even if I didn’t like it.

This follows a 9-year study made by Sweden’s Institute of Environmental Medicine and Harvard University.

In addition there are other health benefits. The following have also been shown to result from eating dark chocolate:

Reduce risk of strokes
Reduce risk of blood clots
Reduce risk of diabetes
Lower blood pressure
Stabilize or improve cholesterol levels
Enhance cognitive function
This study was performed on 32,000 women with the following statistical returns for those who ate the following amount of dark chocolate:

2/3 oz – 1 oz once or twice a week – 32% lower risk

2/3 oz – 1 oz 1-3 servings a week – 26% lower risk

2/3 oz – 1 oz once or more daily – no reduction to risk

When looking for chocolate, look for the organic dark chocolate that has the highest percentage of cocoa solids as this will provide the highest nutritional benefits.

On the other hand, if you want the benefits of dark chocolate without the saturated fat, cholesterol and calories associated with eating a “chocolate bar” – consider adding ‘chocolate’ capsules to your diet.

A dark chocolate bodybuilding.