Chocolate is good for the heart, study finds

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So what you’re saying is that Hershey’s bar I’ve been wanting to eat may actually be good for me?

Fans of chocolate that enjoy having a little bit a day may actually be doing more good than bad in terms of health. A recent study in the journal Heart found those who eat chocolate regularly have "a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes" compared to those who don't eat it, according to NPR.

The study supports the growing theory among some researchers that the "bioactive plant compounds found in cocoa beans, also known as polyphenols, may actually help protect you against heart disease," NPR reports.

Howard LeWine of the Harvard Health Blog found a difference between the people who ate the most chocolate and those who didn't partake. "Among those in the top tier of chocolate consumption, 12 percent developed or died of cardiovascular disease during the study, compared to 17.4 percent of those who didn't eat chocolate," he said.

The study tracked 20,000 adults in England over a 12-year period and the participants filled out paperwork that would give researchers data on each person's chocolate consumption.

But, you may not want to start eating Hershey Kisses by the bagful. JoAnn Manson, chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, told NPR that a bit of chocolate a day is OK, but moderation and a healthy diet is key for overall wellbeing.

On a semi-sweet related note, chocolate is among a group foods that can alter your mood.

Read more at NPR and the full study in Heart.