Antioxidants In Chocolate
Bitter, sweet and alive; that’s how Joanne Harris refers to chocolate in the movie ‘Chocolat’. And we can’t agree more. Chocolate is synonymous to love, motivation, companionship, happiness, goodness, good times and everything else that makes the world tick. A derivative of the Cacao tree, chocolate rules over millions of hearts. Moreover, latest research highlights chocolate as an anti-oxidant rich food contributing towards the treatment of many health problems including the ever increasing cardio-vascular diseases.
Antioxidants can be understood as chemical substances that have the potential to counteract or neutralize the ill-effects caused by oxidizing agents in the body. Oxidizing agents bring about the process of oxidation which can have damaging effects on our cells and tissues. Here’s when antioxidants come to our rescue. Chocolate, it is now believed, is rich in antioxidants and can be quite healthy too, besides being a favourite food item.
Antioxidants present in chocolate are known to exhibit properties that exercise a positive influence on the heart and lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate is considered to be more beneficial in terms of antioxidants. These wondrous substances present in dark chocolate not only help combat bad heart conditions but are good protectors against cancer too. Infact, chocolate is sometimes rated higher in their antioxidant content than many so called superfruits like cranberry and pomegranate.
A cup of hot dark chocolate is no more just a treat, but a potion containing substances that reduce bad or LDL choleaterol from our arteries. The antioxidants found in chocolate belong to the phenol family called flavonoids. Besides reflecting positively on health, these flavonoids help preserve chocolate better and for longer periods of time. According to a research conducted on chocolate consumption, people who consumed more chocolate have shown an increase in their good cholesterol levels.
Consuming moderate amounts of dark chocolate can have a positive effect on our health but one needs to wisely balance out the calories which tend to come with chocolate. Also, white or milk chocolate cannot be considered a good option as milk interferes with the absorption of antioxidants. In dark chocolate, the content of phenol per gram is in higher concentration than white chocolate. Chocolate, eaten in small amounts along with a proper balanced diet will definitely be more fruitful in its effects.
The chocolate fans have good news for now they can relish their chocolate without the guilt. Often, we tend to forget that chocolate, finally is a plant-based food, thus healthier than thought to be. Obtained from the seeds of the Cacao tree, chocolate is quite natural!
It is no wonder that chocolate has been cherished from centuries; but its antioxidant content has now made it a celebrity food of sorts. Indulging in a bite of pure chocolate extasy will not only satisfy the palate, but will help lower the risk of diseases too. So next time you yearn for that all chocolate dessert try dipping fresh fruit pieces in warm dark chocolate to get the best of both – taste and health. Thank you chocolate!
This article was written by guest blogger Genevie who is a UK chocolatier and runs a online chocolate shop in the UK. Based in Edinburgh Genevie expresses her love for chocolate by offering luxury handmade chocolates that are made with love and passion.