Eat Chocolate, Prevent Preeclampsia

Amy Kuras

chocolateLadies! Throw down your copy of that famed pregnancy book, which suggests that maybe if you are a very good girl indeed you could have a bagel once a week as a special treat! Come with me into the real world, where I have good news about something that you're probably doing anyway.

There's yet more evidence that chocolate is good for you, especially during pregnancy. Yale University researchers have found that eating chocolate frequently can lower your risk of preeclampsia, a very serious condition that can lead to premature birth, stroke, and even death for both mother and baby.

Researchers asked 2,500 women about their eating habits during pregnancy as part of the study, and checked their answers against the outcomes of their pregnancies. Almost half the women who reported eating chocolate at least three times a week did not develop high blood pressure during their pregnancies. High blood pressure is a precursor to preeclampsia.

The article didn't say why researchers thought chocolate might be beneficial during pregnancy, but it's known that it's loaded with antioxidants and perhaps other healthy substances. Hey, maybe the women who allowed themselves to eat what they liked were just less stressed out because they were not following ridiculously rigid dietary recommendations.

I'm sure more research is needed before we all get handed a little bag of M&M'S with our prenatal vitamins, but it's nice to have another reason to enjoy a little treat now and again.


Image via suavehouse113/Flickr

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