Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More Dark Chocolate Antioxidant Benefits

While I am on the topic of chocolate health benefits, I couldn't pass this interesting article from Science Daily. The article is called "Cocoa 'Vitamin' Health Benefits Could Outshine Penicillin"

The reason they believe it to be so important is that there is a compound in cocoa called epicatechin. Scientists are crediting this compound with huge health benefits.
Norman Hollenberg, a professor of medicine, studied the Kuna people in Panama, and the benefits of cocoa drinking. These people can drink up to 40 cups of cocoa in a week. That is about 5 or 6 cups a day. He observed that the diseases of stroke, heart failure, cancer and diabetes were reduced to a rate of less than 10%.

Natural cocoa, which is what these people used, contains high levels of epicatechin. Epicatechin and other flavanols give cocoa a bitter taste and so they are removed from commercial cocoas. I saw some raw cocoa in the health food shop today, maybe that would be one way to get this important compound.

Other sources of the flavonoid epicatechin are: white tea, green tea, dark grapes especially in the skins and seeds - hence also red wine, apple, apricot and blueberries.

So for good health chocolate really could be a great addition to the diet. Of course keeping the sugar content low at the same time would be something to keep in mind. I am thinking of using raw cocoa and rapadua (dehydrated cane juice) to make a healthy chocolate drink. No milk of course because it seems that using milk with cocoa inhibits the absorption of the flavonoids and antioxidants.

Enjoy good health,


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