When a woman is pregnant, anything can happen. The cravings start, mood swings inevitable, and trips to the doctor increase dramatically. While this miraculous time is wonderful and exciting, it can also be dangerous and troublesome. Many women need to be put on a strict diet, both for their health and the baby’s; this usually means cutting down on caffeine, alcohol, shellfish, sweets, and many other items that pose a potential threat or health complication.
However, there’s good news out there for soon-to-be mommies. Chocolate is in! That’s right, not only are women allowed to eat chocolate, some doctors are encouraging women to eat chocolate. Why? Well apart from the theobromine in the chocolate promoting a better mood and stress relief, it has also shown to help prevent preeclampsia, a dangerous condition that can occur during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is associated with high blood pressure and increased protein in the urine. This condition can cause complications and later lead to eclampsia, which can cause still birth, seizures, comas, kidney failure, and even death. In a recent study, researchers asked over 2,200 women about their chocolate intake, and later took samples of umbilical chord serum to test for levels of theobromine.
So how does chocolate help prevent this? Well, we honestly don’t know. Whether eating chocolate has a direct correlation with prevention, we have yet to find out. There is major evidence, however, to suggest that ingesting higher amounts of chocolate during pregnancy can significantly reduce the chance of developing preeclampsia. The women who developed preeclampsia tended to report less chocolate intake during pregnancy.
Now, of course this doesn’t give a green light to go eat all the chocolate in the store (as delicious as that would be). Research suggests eating a higher percentage of good-quality chocolate several times a week, rather than lower percentages which contain more calories and fat.
So what are you waiting for? Let the cravings begin!