The Good News About Antioxidants In Chocolate
When we were growing up we were always admonished by our parents to eat our vegetables. We were often told how good they were for us, how they would make us strong and help to keep us healthy and, of course, our parents were right.
Sometimes bribery would be involved in that the parent would reward us with a dessert if we ate all of our vegetables. The good news is we can have our cake and eat it too in that recent studies indicate that there are beneficial properties of antioxidants in chocolate.
Before we replace our vegetable and fruit consumption with chocolate, it is important to know a little bit more about the antioxidants in chocolate. That learning process includes what are antioxidants and what the initial studies revealed.
Antioxidants are beneficial substances that can only be introduced in the body through a person’s diet. Antioxidants are generally found in natural food products such as fruits, teas, vegetables and red wines. They can also be introduced into the body through various dietary supplements.
The specific work of antioxidants, in the blood stream, is to absorb harmful substances. These harmful substances are known as free radicals which, if left unchecked, can cause reactions within cells which could lead to the development of cancer and heart disease. In addition, antioxidants have proven to be beneficial in fighting the effects of aging upon the body.
The Results Of The Studies
Recently, it has been discovered that there is an antioxidant in chocolate that is also found in other antioxidant rich foods. Those particular antioxidants are called polyphenol antioxidants.
This discovery should not come as a surprise when chocolate lovers realize were chocolate is derived from. Often, when you mention chocolate, the imagery that comes to mind is a chocolate bar, candy or other sweet that is made from chocolate. However, when we realize that chocolate is derived from the cocoa bean, then we understand the connection between antioxidants and chocolate.
Preliminary results have indicated that the saturation level of antioxidants in chocolate is equivalent in intensity to those antioxidants that are found in natural food products such as fruits and vegetables. Of particular note, the specific antioxidants in chocolate are at the highest level in cocoa powder followed by dark chocolate and then milk chocolate. It is estimated that in dark chocolate alone the levels of polyphenol antioxidants are eight times stronger than those levels of polyphenol antioxidants that are found in strawberries. This is particularly powerful information in that strawberries rank the highest in their level of antioxidants amongst the fruit category.