Saturday, May 22, 2010

Health Chocolate: Dark Chocolate Antioxidant Rich

Chocolate antioxidants are known as flavonoids. Chocolate makers have been experimenting with new ways of processing and manufacturing chocolate that will retain a lot more of the flavonoids. That is good news because it is the flavonoids that give chocolate health benefits that have been found to be helpful regarding heart attacks and strokes.

The flavonols in cocoa help prevent clogging of the arteries by preventing oxidization of cholesterol in the bloodstream. They also help to make the blood platelets less sticky and so less likely to clump together and cause clots.

High antioxidant chocolate is dark chocolate as it is much higher in flavonoids than milk chocolate. So go for the dark every time. Look for chocolate that has at least 65% cocoa in the ingredient list. My favorite has 72%. Dark chocolate has been reported to have about 8 times the antioxidants of strawberries.

Scientists are still doing studies to find out more about how the chemicals in chocolate benefit health. They are now able to isolate some of these chemicals and study them separately. However it is always possible that it is the synergy of all of the components of chocolate that cause it to have the benefits that it seems to have. So why wait for scientists to deconstruct the cacao bean? Enjoy small helpings of dark chocolate as part of your regular balanced diet and reap the benefits of one of nature's delicacies.

Have good health,


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