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Chocolate may reduce stroke risk for men

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Men who have a sweet tooth may be in for some sweet news: Chocolate could be man's best friend!

A recent Swedish study showed that more chocolate meant less stroke risk for its participants, which were 37,000 men.  

Julia Zumpano did not take part in the study, but is a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic.

"In general, chocolate is a very good source of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that help protect the arteries, keep the lining of the arteries more smooth, less likely to build plaque," says Zumpano.

When was the last time something so potentially beneficial was candy? This 10-year study saw men who ate the most chocolate lower their stroke risk by 17 percent over those who didn't eat any.

Zumpano says the authors did not specify a type of chocolate, but dark with a high cocoa content is typically best.

"Milk chocolate still will contain some flavonoids, but to a much lower extent," says Zumpano. "You want to choose chocolate that is at least 70 percent cocoa, so higher cocoa content and less milk content."

Researchers say about one-third of a cup of chocolate each week is all you need to reap the benefits. The antioxidants have a variety of additional benefits and darker, purer varieties are becoming more available.

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