The benefits of eating chocolate during pregnancy

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Pregnant woman eating bar of chocolate, isolated

Pregnant woman eating bar of chocolate, isolated

If you have chocolate cravings during pregnancy, don’t resist. Eating chocolate may be good for your growing baby, according to research …

Eating chocolate during pregnancy

Researchers have found that eating chocolate during pregnancy helps improve placental function and to decrease the risk of preeclampsia.

A daily chocolate

Since previous studies showed conflicting results regarding the role of chocolate consumption during pregnancy and the risk of preeclampsia, researchers conducted a trial of 129 pregnant women between 11 and 14 weeks gestation.

The woman either ate 30 grams high-flavanol or low-flavanol chocolate daily for 12 weeks.

Chocolate could have a positive impact on placenta and foetal growth

Although researchers found no difference in preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, placental weight or birthweight in the two groups, uterine artery Doppler pulsatility index (a surrogate marker of blood velocity in the uterine, placental and fetal circulations) in both groups showed marked improvement that was much greater than expected in general population.

What does this mean?

“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,” explained Emmanuel Bujold, M.D., one of the researchers.

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