There are so many “don’ts” on a pregnant woman’s radar. Don’t drink alcohol. Don’t drink coffee. Don’t eat delicious deli sandwiches. Don’t eat most sushi. Don’t get too stressed out. Don’t exercise too much. Don’t exercise too little. Don’t lift things. Don’t rip your partner’s face off when they get into your hidden candy stash…
Oh — just me? Am I the only one who wanted to do that? Well it turns out the hidden candy stash is totally justifiable. For once, science is on our side. A study released this week says a little daily dose of chocolate is actually good for pregnant ladies. A total of 30 grams of chocolate was consumed daily for 12 weeks and women were followed until delivery. An entire Hershey’s bar is 41 grams, to give you some reference.
The study set out to evaluate the impact of high-flavanol chocolate in a pregnant woman’s diet. High-flavanol chocolate is the dark, bitter chocolate that no one likes — you know, the kind that people who are dieting eat. The kind that’s on every clean-eating blog out there. The saddest chocolate in existence: the thief of joy.
What they found was that a daily dose of chocolate could have a positive effect on placenta and fetal growth and development by improving blood flow. Bonus: even low-flavanol chocolate proved beneficial. Delicious milk chocolate is good for you, too, ladies!
“There was no difference in preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, placental weight or birthweight in the two groups,” the study claims. “However, the 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.”
“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,” explained Emmanuel Bujold, M.D., one of the researchers on the study.
Further research will be needed to confirm the finding and test the effect of different quantities of chocolate, since there was no control group consuming no chocolate. Because come on, what pregnant woman is going to sign up for that?
It’s just good to hear a resounding “yes” for once, instead of another “no.” Go ahead and eat your chocolate, pregnant lady.