Dark chocolate better than fruit juice?

Great news for chocolate lovers: new research published February 7 in
Chemistry Central Journal claims that chocolate contains more antioxidants (polyphenols and flavanols) than fruit juice. Take note: the research was conducted by Hershey.

When researchers at the Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition compared antioxidants in dark chocolate to those in fruit juice powder, they found that the chocolate trumped the juice with more antioxidant capacity, and a greater total flavanol content. In the study, cocoa products beat out blueberry and cranberry powder on the antioxidant scale. Cocoa powder, however, fell short of pomegranate juice.

 "Cacao seeds should be considered a 'superfruit' and products derived from cacao seed extracts, such as natural cocoa powder and dark chocolate, as 'superfoods,'" researchers said.

Other studies have found that antioxidant-rich chocolate may decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease. The US-based National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute analyzed the chocolate habits of almost 5,000 adults. Those who ate chocolate five or more times a week were 60 percent less likely to have heart disease. Plus a German study, published in the European Heart Journal, found that modest chocolate intake had a significant effect on people's blood pressure.

But don't get too excited - Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Mike Roizen, best-selling authors and celebrity experts, advise that the flavonoid antioxidants in dark chocolate are so powerful that a tiny piece will suffice. "You don't need a whole bar," they say; "a daily piece the size of a Hershey's Kiss can lower your blood pressure."

Access the study: http://journal.chemistrycentral.com/content/5/1/5

 

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