We can eat our chocolate Easter eggs this weekend without feeling quite so guilty, a new study this week assures us. Chocolate, and especially dark chocolate, can lower our blood pressure and reduce our risks of heart disease. Even eating just one additional square of chocolate a day can have a significant effect, say researchers from the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Nuthetal. They tracked 19,357 adults for 10 years, and discovered that those who ate the most chocolate had lower blood pressure and a 39 per cent reduced risk of heart attack or stroke compared with those in the group who ate the least amount of chocolate. Among chocolate eaters, those eating the most were consuming around 7.5 grams a day, while those eating the least were consuming just 1.7 grams a day. The difference is equivalent to just one square of chocolate. Adding an additional square of chocolate a day could mean there would be 85 fewer heart attacks and strokes per 10,000 people. (Source: European Heart Journal, 2010; doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehq068).