Chocolate lovers listen up. Eating flavanol-rich dark chocolate has been found to protect against the risk of heart disease and stroke by improving platelet function within two hours of consumption, according to a new study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health examined the effects of consumption of dark chocolate that was enriched with cocoa extract in the blood of 42 healthy volunteers, 26 women and 16 men. They compared platelet function of the participants who ate enriched dark chocolate with those who ate dark chocolate that contained a lower cocoa and flavanol content, and white chocolate.
Blood and urine samples were obtained and analyzed two hours and six hours after chocolate consumption. They found the dark chocolate enriched with flavan-3-ols significantly decreased platelet activation and aggregation in men, but only decreased platelet aggregation in women.
Source: Food Product Design