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Sharon Basaraba

Long Love Affair With Chocolate

By February 9, 2012

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Getty chocolate spoon(MIB Pictures / Getty Images)

The next time you give a loved one chocolate, consider this: you could be offering them a delicacy - and a longer life.  There's a growing body of evidence showing chocolate may enhance your longevity, mostly through a reduction in cardiovascular events.  Even consuming just a small amount, regularly,  has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

Though much attention has been focused on choosing dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, many nutrition researchers are now advocating for chocolate with labels showing flavanol levels instead - as flavanols are the compounds believed to be most beneficial in chocolate.  However, they are largely destroyed during cocoa processing.   In fact, cocoa and chocolate have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, in less processed form.

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