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The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

The Health Benefits of Dark ChocolateHealth researchers are now discovering that there are actual tangible health benefits to eating the snack we all love and some of us ‘crave.’ Dark chocolate, where the cocoa mass is in percentages more than 40%, contain flavonols and anti-oxidants. A Hershey’s spokesperson said, “Consumers are becoming more aware of the antioxidants that occur naturally in dark chocolate," said Jody Cook.”

In an article written for Prevention magazine, Alice Lesch Kelly states, “Food scientists are no longer shy about praising chocolate, and not just as a dip for strawberries. Several studies have demonstrated that antioxidants in chocolate — known as flavonols — help lower levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol while boosting "good" HDL cholesterol. Flavonols seem to ease inflammation, opening blood vessels and improving blood flow. These antioxidants can prevent platelets from adhering to the lining of blood vessels, inhibit blood clotting, and help prevent plaque formation in the arteries, explains Carl L. Keen, PhD, chairman of the nutrition department at the University of California, Davis. “The science is compelling. I think it's a good idea to include flavonol-rich foods such as chocolate in your diet," Keen says.

The article also states, “Cocoa beans contain substantial amounts of antioxidants, dietary substances that mop up free radicals. (The cell damage they cause can lead to cancer-triggering mutations or blood-vessel scarring that accelerates heart problems.) Disease-fighting antioxidants are also present in blueberries, kale, spinach, tea, red wine, and grape juice. But chocolate is a particularly potent source; ounce for ounce, dark chocolate has five times as many antioxidants as blueberries. (emphasis mine)

The website, www.foodnavigator.com states, “...According to Sandra Capra from the University of Newcastle, (England) the health properties of dark chocolate are real and should not be dismissed so lightly.

The evidence is there, that dark chocolate is a good alternative to milk chocolate and is a source of some key anti-oxidants," she said. "Anyone already on a healthy and balanced diet should be able to indulge occasionally in one or two squares of dark chocolate and benefit from a few health benefits as well."

Posted Friday, Jun 25  |  by Smith Organic Chocolates

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