Sunday, June 13, 2010

Antioxidants in Dark Chocolate

So why are the antioxidants in dark chocolate so good for you? Firstly they have a good quantity of antioxidants on the same level as blueberries or red wine which are often being promoted as being good for us. In fact two tablespoons of natural cocoa contain the same amount of antioxidants as four cups of green tea, 1 cup of blueberries and one and a half glasses of red wine.

The antioxidants have been found to have many health benefits which is why they are something that is often talked about at the moment. Many people are consuming foods with high levels of antioxidants in order to improve their health and many of the talked about super foods have high concentrations of them. The health benefits of antioxidants are vast including helping to reduce the risk of many diseases and illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. They have also been found to help heart health by enhancing blood flow, improving cholesterol levels and sometimes reducing blood pressure.

Antioxidants protect the cells in the body from free radicals which are unstable oxygen molecules that can change the structure in cells. Our body does produce its own antioxidants to help to neutralise these free radicals before they do any damage. This damage is thought to cause diseases such as cancer and heart disease. These free radicals do occur naturally in the body but as we get older our body produces less antioxidants itself to fight them off and so getting extra from the diet can be very beneficial especially as we age.

As chocolate contains higher concentrations of antioxidants than other foods then it is recognised as a good source and that is why there is so much encouragement to eat antioxidants in dark chocolate rather than from other sources.

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