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Eating chocolate ‘could boost baby growth’

Having some chocolate cravings

Many women get cravings during their pregnancy, anything from lemon curd sandwiches to chocolate.  However, scientists have discovered that chocolate can actually provide health benefits to the growing baby.

A study by scientists from Maternal-Fetal medicine looked at the effects of high-flavanol (generally dark chocolate) and low-flavanol chocolate on the risk of hypertension during pregnancy, placental weight, birth weight and preeclampsia.  Flavanols are a natural anti-oxidant that can be found in the cocoa bean.

Women were split into two groups and given 30g of either high or low flavanol chocolate a day. Both groups showed no direct improvement on the former risks, but the higher-flavanol group showed improvement in uterine artery circulation.

However, these effects may not solely be due to the flavanol levels in dark chocolate. Study author Dr Emmanuel Bujold said: “This study indicates chocolate could have a positive impact on placenta and foetal growth and development and chocolate’s effects are not solely and directly due to flavanol content.”

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  1. Pingback: Chocolate could 'improve brain function' - Healthizmo

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