A new study has shown that eating chocolate every day can help your unborn baby grow and help the placenta whilst you are pregnant.
Research to be presented to the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine examined whether high-flavanol chocolate could reduce pre-eclampsia, a late-term disorder that can result in a range of serious health problems for both the mother and the foetus.
The study centered on Flavanols – a type of compounds that are found in cocoa. Commonly found in dark, bitter chocolate, the compounds have been linked to a wide range of health benefits included reduced blood pressure.
The effects of low and high-flavanol chocolate was studied with a group of pregnant women across a twelve week period. Pre-eclampisa, gestational hypertension, placenta weight and birth weight were measured throughout this time.
Results demonstrated that an improvement in blood flow across both the low and high-flavanol chocolate intake groups of the women that were studied.
“This study indicates that chocolate could have a positive impact on placenta and foetal growth and development and that chocolate’s effects are not solely and directly due to flavanol content,” researcher Emmanuel Bujold said.