Chocolate once again proved its health mettle, this time as a heart-friendly indulgence. A recent study looked at the relationship between chocolate and blood platelet clotting, which is associated with heart attack.

The study used 139 people who were disqualified from a larger study on the effects of aspirin and blood platelets because of their inability to give up chocolate, as was required. Researchers found that the platelets of chocolate eaters took longer to clump together than non-chocolate-eaters, and produced fewer platelet waste products. Platelet clumping can lead to blood clots that block narrow blood vessels and cause heart attack.

Researchers concluded that “eating a little bit of chocolate, or having a drink of hot cocoa as part of a regular diet is probably a good thing for personal health,” adding that dark chocolate is the best form of the candy for health benefits. They warn that people not eat too much chocolate, which often contains loads of sugar, butter and cream.

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