Pregnancy is an absolute miracle.
Sometimes I still can’t believe two people coming together can create a brand new life; it honestly stuns me…and I’m in the business of studying the human body!
Now here’s the painful truth about pregnancy…
As wonderful as it might be, it’s also a state of being capable of producing frustration, stress, and in some cases, danger to the mother and child.
Well, pregnant mothers with strange dietary requests are now being provided a bit of support (that is, if their requests revolve around chocolate).
New research indicates the consumption of chocolate can benefit the growth of the fetus and aid in the birth of a healthy child, as well as protect the mother too.
Yet another reason to love chocolate, right?!
Now here’s what’s interesting about this new research…
It seems to support the notion the darker the chocolate you eat, the better it is for your (and the fetus’s ) health.
This builds off the reasons so many health professionals recommend chocolate consumption in the first place.
Chocolate is rich in compounds called “flavanols.” Flavanols have been linked to the prevention of conditions like cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure; the FDA has even confirmed “cocoa flavanols help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, which contributes to normal blood flow.”
Typically the darker the chocolate, the higher the flavanol content.
When researchers wanted to test the hypothesis that pregnant women’s consumption of dark chocolate helps protect their child and the mother from a dangerous condition called preeclampsia, they discovered something pretty encouraging.
It would appear that almost any kind of chocolate could help protect the mom and child (but still, darker is better).
Head researcher Emmanuel Bujold of the Université Laval Québec City, Canada said this about their findings:
“We cannot speculate on the overall effect of chocolate on the risk of preeclampsia from our study results because we did not have a group of women who were not taking chocolate.
However, previous epidemiological studies along with our results suggest that consumption of dark chocolate during pregnancy could help in the improvement of placental function and the reduction of preeclampsia.”
The recommended dose according to their research?
30 grams a day, just enough to make a pregnant mom happy, happy, happy.
Research like this as well as this (my article on chocolate) are one of the main reasons the physicians here at Health As It Ought To Be recommend consumption of low sugar, high flavanol chocolate.
We even started carrying some in our store, and will bring it online soon.
Make sure to share this article with your pregnant friends (and while you’re at it, buy them a piece of chocolate).