BRANDENBURG, Germany, March 31 (UPI) — Easter eggs — the dark chocolate kind — in small quantities can lower blood pressure and reduce heart disease risk, researchers in Germany found.
Study leader Dr. Brian Buijsse of the German Institute of Human Nutrition and colleagues tracked 19,357 people, ages 35-65, for at least 10 years.
The study participants — part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer — had their blood pressure checked, height and weight measurements taken and they answered questions about diet, lifestyle and health.
The study, published in the European Heart Journal, found those who ate the most chocolate — an average of 7.5 grams a day, about one-quarter of an ounce or one square or two of a chocolate bar — had lower blood pressure and a 39 percent lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke compared to those who ate the least amount of chocolate.
“Small amounts of chocolate may help to prevent heart disease but only if it replaces other energy-dense food, such as snacks, in order to keep body weight stable,” Buijsse said in a statement.
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