I am sure you have heard that chocolate is full of antioxidants and very good for you. I am sure you have also heard that sugar is good for you.
Just kidding. But really, there is a bit of truth to the chocolate health claim.
In the article “Cacao seeds are a “super fruit”: a comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products“. In this study they measured values of cocoa powder and other “super fruits”. They found the cocoa powder contained a lot of polyphenic compounds, specifically flavanol. So basically, cocoa powder contains a lot of this certain chemical called flavanol.
The article starts out to explain that Cacao beans are actually similar to berries, a fruit.
Then, back to flavanol. Flavanols have been cited with numerous health benefits including improved blood flow, improved arterial elasticity, decreased blood pressure, decreased platelet aggregation and anti-inflammatory actions. So we may not be curing cancer with chocolate, but I certainly know that I would enjoy some of the health benefits of flavanol. The article also claimed the cocoa powder had antioxidant amounts that were higher than other “super fruits” including acai, blueberries, cranberries and pomegranates.
Also recognize that the cocoa evaluated in this study was cocoa powder and results may vary depending upon the chocolate source. Especially recognize that many of the chocolate sources come loaded with sugar which is not always good for us either. Despite the positive health benefits of the chocolate itself, I wouldn’t run out to buy tons of chocolate simply because of the other contents we all know will just add to our “bottom line”. On the other hand, I am still fascinated with the nutritional content of the chocolate itself and definitely still plan on enjoying chocolate!
Have a good day everyone!