Chocolate is good for you.

A recent study by Johns Hopkins University researchers that featured at an American Heart Association meeting in Chicago shows that a small quantity of dark chocolate a day could reduce the risk of clotting in the blood vessels. This is similar to what aspirin does.

The researchers studied 139 ‘chocoholics’ that another study on the effects of aspirin on platelets, minute blood cells able to clump together to form a clot disqualified due to their inability to stop consuming chocolates as required for the study.

This is not the first time research studies have supported the beneficial effects of dark chocolates on the heart and blood vessels. Several previous studies indicated that cocoa and dark chocolate have antioxidants, flavinoids, beneficial to the heart, helping to lower the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase those of HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood, and that they might even help prevent some forms of cancers.

The disqualified group mentioned above, provided the Johns Hopkins team an opportunity via biochemical analysis, to explore known beneficial effects of dark chocolates such as their ability to reduce blood pressure and other beneficial effects on blood flow.

Thus, the researchers conducted tests on how long it took platelets from the ‘chocoholics’ versus the ‘non-chocoholics’ to clump, in a mechanical blood vessel system, those from the latter clotting faster, at 123 seconds, versus from the former, at 130 seconds.

The study confirmed that the presence of substances in cocoa beans with similar biochemical effect to aspirin regarding the ability to reduce platelet clotting, a potentially grave event, the blockade to a blood vessel consequent upon which could result in a heart attack, or stroke.

Experts recommend two tablespoonfuls of dark chocolate or a hot cocoa drink as an aspect of one’s standard meal, but discourage the use of chocolates that have high fat and sugar content. Others do not think we should in fact, use chocolates as medicine although have no objection to enjoying the delicacy every now and then. Further, flavinoids are also plentiful in fruits and vegetables, five portions of which a day, experts advice would provide as much benefits in reducing the risk of heart diseases.