A study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology of more than 33,000 Swedish women over the course of 10 years, found that those who ate the most chocolate had the lowest chance of stroke. WOMEN who eat a bar of chocolate a week could reduce their risk of stroke by 20%.  Dark vs light chocolate consumption was not studied.

Participants who ate about a bar and a half per week (66g) were 20% less likely to suffer a stroke. Women who consumed 8g or less grams of chocolate a week were at the highest risk.

The Karolinska Institute scientists questioned 33,372 women about their eating habits in 1997 and over the next decade about 1,600 suffered strokes.

These findings reinforce previous studies that highlight the health benefits of eating chocolate and cocoa – the protective agent in chocolate.

Another study by Cambridge University researchers found that regular doses of chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease by a third, while a separate study suggested it can be as good for your health as exercise.

Researchers expect to find similar results when they complete a study of chocolate consumption in men.