"Dark chocolates are 'super food', healthier than fruits--study
Chocolates, especially dark ones, are rich in antioxidants including flavonoids that the study says help prevent damage to healthy cells.
Chocolates boost health more than fruit juice
The study, conducted by the US-based chocolate company Hershey Co., has suggested that chocolates appear to be more beneficial to health, when compared to fruits.
Touting the chocolates as the next super food, scientists at Hershey’s centre for health and nutrition said dark chocolate and cocoa have more anti-oxidant capacity than fruit juices.
Even the products made of chocolates have more flavanols and polyphenol, which are beneficial to human heart, according to New York Daily News, citing study findings.
The scientists reached their conclusion after carrying out a comparison test between cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and fruit powder, which contained powders made from acai berries, blueberries, pomegranates, and cranberries.
The researchers found that both dark chocolate and cocoa had more antioxidant activity and more flavonols than blueberry, cranberry, and pomegranate powder.
However, the hot cocoa mix came last in all the tests, likely due to the antioxidants being stripped out during processing.
Chocolates should be classified as super fruits
After overall comparison and evaluation, the study found that dark chocolate had the best anti-oxidising activity.
'The compounds in dark chocolate are just as good as the botanical compounds in fruit,' said study’s senior author Debra Miller, insisting that chocolate should be labelled a superfruit.
'Cocoa seeds should be considered a ‘superfruit’ and products derived from cocoa seed extracts, such as natural cocoa powder and dark chocolate as ‘superfoods’'
The findings of the study released Sunday in the Chemistry Central Journal.
Health benefits of chocolates
Dark chocolate has long been touted for its health benefits, including lowering the blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The antioxidants in dark chocolate have also been proven to increase the levels of nitric oxide in the blood as well as improve the functions of blood vessels.
Past studies have shown that eating a bar of dark chocolate a week may significantly improve blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, which may considerably cut back diabetes risk.
The treat has also been linked to the regulation of physical energy, mood, and attention as it contains small amounts of a chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA), or the ‘love drug’."