We've all heard it before — dark chocolate is "healthy" for you, but a new study finally explains why.
Louisiana State University tested cocoa powders in the digestive tract and found some microbes in the gut use the dark chocolate to improve heart health. (Via Slate)
"Good bacteria in the stomach feasts on the chocolate and then produce compounds that are anti-inflammatory cardiovascular tissues that absorb the compounds, improving your heart health." (Via TXCN)
The study’s lead researcher, John Finley, elaborates, saying, "When these compounds are absorbed by the body, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke." (Via HealthDay)
So go ahead, reach for that extra piece of dark chocolate. But while you're at it, add some fruit.
"Scientists say combining dark chocolate with solid fruits like pomegranates and acai could provide even greater benefits." (Via WRC-TV)
A writer for io9 reminds us dark chocolate is also full of antioxidants and can help reduce blood pressure, ease depression and control blood sugar.
Just make sure your dark chocolate is made up of more than 70 percent cocoa.