Diet & Fitness

Dark chocolate during pregnancy

Written by Health Guru

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The key findings of this study are going to excite prospect mothers, bearing in mind the long list of foods women are encouraged not eat while pregnant.
While chocolate is not on the no-no list of foods, future moms are encouraged no to eat excessive amounts of the sweet cocoa treat because of its high levels of fat, sugar and caffeine.

Eating chocolate with moderation has undeniable health benefits. Chocolate is rich in flavanols; a special type of flavonoid that lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of cardiovascular issues. The darker the chocolate is, the more flavanols it has.
Earlier studies have also suggested that daily consumption of dark chocolate during pregnancy significantly reduces the risk of preeclampsia. This is a pregnancy disorder characterized by a reduced blood supply to the fetus due to the mother’s increased blood pressure.

Researchers observed 120 pregnant women between weeks 11 to 14 of gestation form double notching on the uterine artery Doppler throbbing index at study baseline. The uterine artery Doppler pulsatility index is a test that examines uterine, placental, fetal blood flow. It also examines notches that determine the risk of preeclampsia, hypertension and other pregnancy complications.
The soon-to-be mothers, divided in two groups, were given 30 g of either low- or high-flavanol chocolate daily over a period 12 weeks. Uterine artery Doppler pulsatility was calculated again at the end of week 12. All 120 women were closely observed until they gave birth.

The low- and high-flavanol chocolate groups showed no changes in preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, placental weight and birthweight.
The research team identified a noticeable improvement in uterine artery Doppler throbbing among both chocolate groups. Their findings indicate that low- and high-flavonol chocolate can be beneficial to fetal growth and development.

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