Dark chocolate is good for the arteries as it helps facilitate blood flow, a new study has found.
Yale University research, presented at the annual convention of the American College of Cardiology on Monday, indicated that flavonoids, a group of antioxidant compounds found in fruit and vegetables, play an important health role.
Studies indicated that there is a strong correlation between the consumption of foods rich in flavonoids such as wine, green tea, fruit and vegetables and the fight against cardiovascular disease, the study said.
Cocoa or dark chocolate products are considered one of the most concentrated sources of flavonoids among commonly consumed foods.
Researchers at Yale Prevention Research Center examined 45 people from Connecticut state, who were randomly assigned to three consumption groups.
Their members received daily eight ounces of either cocoa without sugar, cocoa with sugar, or placebo for six weeks.
Cocoa was considered a successful vehicle to improve endothelial function in this trial, the study said.
Of the 39 subjects who completed the trial, Flow Mediated Dilation (FMD) improved significantly in the groups consuming cocoa with no sugar (2.4 per cent) and cocoa with sugar (1.5 per cent) when compared to placebo (-0.8 per cent).
"While the findings from this study do not suggest that people should start eating more chocolates as part of their daily routine, it does suggest that we pay more attention to how dark chocolate and other flavonoid-rich foods might offer cardiovascular benefits," said Valentine Yanchou Njike, one of the leading researchers.