Researchers at the Yale University in the US found that those who consume higher rates of chocolatey snacks — including hot chocolate drinks — were less likely to develop pre-eclampsia, one of the most common causes of premature birth that affects nearly 6 million births annually.
It is characterised by high blood pressure and can cause convulsions, blood clots, liver damage and kidney failure, leading to the death of the baby and sometimes the mother, the “Daily Mail” reported.
“Women who reported regular chocolate consumption of more than three servings a week had a 50 per cent or greater reduced risk of pre-eclampsia,” the researchers wrote in the journal “Annals of Epidemiology”.
“Regular chocolate intake during the first or third trimester was equally protective.” There have been a number of studies which suggested that chocolate has some health benefits if eaten moderately.
Last year, Swedish scientists found heart attack survivors who snacked on chocolate at least twice a week could slash their risk of dying from heart disease by up to 70 per cent.