Chocolate Lovers Rejoice! Cocoa-Rich Treat Is HEALTHIER Than Fruit, Say Scientists

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1354426/Chocolate-lovers-rejoice-Cocoa-treat-healthy-fruit-claim-scientists.html#ixzz1DZ2ypp1k

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 1:16 AM on 8th February 2011

It is the news that chocoholics have been waiting for: chocolate has been classed as a superfood.

Research shows that dark chocolate is richer in health-boosting antioxidants than juices made from blueberries, cranberries and other so-called  ‘superfruits’.

And although strictly speaking cocoa comes from a seed rather than a fruit, the  researchers say that should not stop one of our favourite sweet treats from  joining the legions of superfruits.

A study has found chocolate can contain as many antioxidants as fruit. However, adding sugar and milk to a bar will dilute the benefits 

British experts said that while US chocolate company Hershey may have ulterior  motives for doing the study, a little of what we fancy is unlikely to do us too much harm.

Scientists at Hershey’s centre for health and nutrition compared the amount of  antioxidants in a blueberry, cranberry, pomegranate and acai fruit juices.

Levels in 40g bars of dark chocolate and in mugs of cocoa and drinking  chocolate were also analysed.

The small bars of dark chocolate came out top in all the tests, the Chemistry  Central Journal reports.

Cocoa and dark chocolate triumphed in tests for flavanols, an antioxidant  family credited with feats from preventing wrinkles to cutting the risk of  heart disease.

Drinking chocolate, however, came last in all the tests, likely due to the  antioxidants being stripped out during processing.

Dr Debra Miller, the study’s senior author, said that we need to look  past ‘macronutrients’ like fat and protein when assessing the nutritional value of chocolate.

She said: ‘Cocoa powder provides nutritive value beyond that derived from its  macronutrient composition.

‘Cocoa seeds should be considered a “superfruit” and products derived from  cocoa seed extracts, such as natural cocoa powder and dark chocolate as  “superfoods”.’

Other recent research has shown that just a chunk of dark chocolate a day could  cut the risk of heart disease by up to a third.

Just 6.7g a day, or a quarter of an ounce, proved optimum for heart health.

Researchers have even gone as far as to claim that the smell of chocolate alone  can protect against colds.

But, sadly for chocolate lovers, the treat’s high fat and sugar content means  dieticians recommend it is eaten as part of a balanced diet, rich in less  appealing foods such a brown rice, pulses and fruit and vegetables.

Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, described the latest research as  ‘a bit of fun’.

He added: ‘It may be that dark chocolate does have more antioxidants than some  terrific-sounding fruits.

‘It is a case of everything in moderation.’

Copyright © 2011 Daily Mail

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: