Antioxidant-rich chocolate, which can be used in bakery applications, helps heart health, according to new research from Japan.

The report from Chiba University suggests that consuming dark chocolate containing flavonoids (associated with antioxidants) on a regular basis improves coronary blood flow, and so reduces the risk of fatty build-up in the arteries and, therefore, heart attacks.

Trials were carried out over a two-weeks period on 39 adults, with an average age of 29.

Half were given 550 milligrams of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate to eat every day, while the other half were given normal white chocolate, which has no flavonoids. The participants who ate dark chocolate showed significantly improved blood flow after two weeks, while those who ate white chocolate showed no change whatsoever.

"Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate had acute effects in improving coronary function in healthy adults, as compared to non-flavonoid white chocolate, independent of changes in oxidative stress parameters, blood pressure and lipid profile," researchers said.

On consumption of dark chocolate, coronary arteries dilated, letting more blood through, reducing the risk of heart attacks.

Meanwhile, Prestat has just launched a new Choxi+ bar. The company says that only two squares provides a day’s worth of antioxidants. According to the company, cocoa beans are the richest-known source of several antioxidants.