Millions of people around the world suffer from heart attacks. In the United States alone, over 800,000 people die from heart attacks each year. If you look at the data, the ratio of fatal heart attacks is at 1 in every 3 deaths. According to health officials, about 160,000 of these attacks happen to people below the age of 65.

Also known as myocardial infarction or MI, myo means muscle, and cardial means heart. Infarction, on the other hand, means the tissue’s death due to insufficient blood supply. This can cause permanent damage to the heart muscle.

Heart Attack Prevention

Fortunately, this medical emergency can be prevented. Since most of the time, a heart attack is linked to unhealthy lifestyle decisions, you can make the necessary changes to help avert the risky condition.

Your regular diet plays a major role in minimizing the risk of a heart attack. Eating less saturated fat can help a lot. There is also a popular treat that can help you stave off the risk.

hot chocolate during winter defend against heart attack
Hot chocolate during winter defends against a heart attack. pixel2013 - Pixabay

A Delicious Treat To Defend Against Heart Attack

Two journals, namely, the British Journal of Nutrition and Ages, have published two studies saying that drinking hot chocolate offers considerable protection against heart attack. In the first study, drinking a mug of hot chocolate daily could reduce the risk of suffering from a heart attack in the next decade by at least 31%. Cocoa flavanols, which are plant-based nutrients found in chocolate, were found to be the key in improving heart functions as arteries began to stiffen with age.

The study involving 42 men concluded that flavanols bring heart-healthy benefits to individuals below 35 years of age, as well as those aged 50 to 80. Researchers found that vasodilation or the broadening of blood vessels considerably improved in age groups that consumed flavanols in the duration of the study.

Vasodilation allows blood vessels to further open, increasing the blood flow through the vessels and decreasing blood pressure. This is a vital process that minimizes cardiovascular complication risks like heart disease.

In the second study, healthy men and women 35 to 60 years old were invited to participate. After consuming a flavanol beverage at least two times a day for one month, they saw their cardiovascular disease risk reduced by 22%.

Researchers also noted the blood pressure levels of participants were further minimized. Their cholesterol, a waxy material that flows with the blood and which increases the risk of heart attack, was also reduced.