Heart attacks are serious medical emergencies that require immediate attention from a doctor. You could slash your risk of a deadly heart attack – or myocardial infarction – by simply eating more dark chocolate, it’s been claimed.
Heart attacks are caused by a lack of blood reaching the heart.
Without enough blood, the heart could become seriously damaged – and it may even be life-threatening.
A heart attack could also be a symptom of coronary heart disease, which is where fatty deposits build up in the arteries, which limits the amount of blood reaching the heart.
One of the best ways to lower your risk of a heart attack is to regularly eat dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate helps to lower blood pressure as it contains antioxidant flavonoids, according to Healthspan medical director Dr Sarah Brewer.
Flavonoids have been linked to a lower blood pressure, which subsequently reduces the risk of a heart attack.
The very best dark chocolate should be rich in flavonoids, with a high cocoa percentage.
Everyone should consider eating between 50g and 100g of dark chocolate every day, she said.
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“Chocolate and cocoa are such a rich source of flavonoids that, gram for gram, dark chocolate provides five times more antioxidant activity than blueberries,” Brewer told Express Health.
“There is clear evidence that eating 100g of dark chocolate [at least 70 percent polyphenols] every day can reduce systolic blood pressure by 5.1mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.8mmHg – enough to reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke by an average of 21 percent.
“Pretty impressive for something that tastes so delicious and is usually considered a treat.
“Eat 50g – 100g daily of very dark chocolate [unless you’re watching your weight, in which case take calorie count into consideration]. Drinking unsweetened cocoa is beneficial, too.”
Dark chocolate isn’t the only food that contains flavonoids, however.
A number of plant products contain the antioxidants, including kale, broccoli and tomatoes.
Certain types of tea, including green tea, are also rich in flavonoids, as well as red wine.
Regularly eating flavonoid-rich foods have also been claimed to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
The most common heart attack symptoms include severe chest pain, having a radiating pain in your arm, and suddenly feeling very dizzy.
But you can lower your risk of a heart attack by making some small diet or lifestyle changes.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet will lower your chances of fatty deposits in your arteries.
If you think you, or someone you know, may be having a heart attack, it’s crucial that you dial 999 straight away.
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