Just in time for Valentine's Day, we have some very important news: chocolate may have some big benefits during pregnancy.
Research to be presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting this week shows daily—yes, daily—chocolate consumption improved both placental and fetal blood flow.
Over the course of 12 weeks, 129 study participants between 11 and 14 weeks pregnant consumed 30 grams (the size of a small bar) of either high-flavonal or low-flavonal chocolate every day. Both groups showed an improvement in blood flow notably better than that of the general population.
"This study indicates that chocolate could have a positive impact on placenta and fetal growth and development and that chocolate's effects are not solely and directly due to flavanol content," researcher Emmanuel Bujold, MD, says, dispelling the commonly-held belief that only dark chocolate (high flavanol) offers health benefits.
After previous studies found conflicting results about chocolate's ability to lower preeclampsia risk, researchers decided to take a closer look at other potential benefits of the treat. And we're definitely glad they did.
Is chocolate one of your cravings? Take a look at other foods moms craved during pregnancy.