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- A 2008 study found that people who ate a small amount of dark chocolate a day (about 6.7 grams) had lower levels of a protein that is associated with inflammation in their blood.
- Other recent studies have found that blood platelets clump together more slowly in chocolate eaters. Clumping platelets can lead to the formation of blood clots, which in turn can cause a heart attack. Chocolate consumption may lower blood pressure, help prevent formation of artery plaques and improve blood flow, according to other research.
- Eating chocolate may even help with math, or at least counting. A study reported in 2009 showed that people did a better job of counting backwards in groups of three after they had consumed a hot cocoa drink containing large amounts of a compound found in chocolate. These compounds, called flavonoids, which we'll get to later, may increase blood flow to the brain.
- Chocolate may also have anti-cancer benefits because flavonoids may help reduce the cell damage that can spur tumor growth.