Battling Aging and Disease? Enlist Dark Chocolate Antioxidants

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Dark chocolate antioxidants are a tasty way to give your cells a fighting chance. Everyday your body is under attack by free radicals.

These molecules can damage cells causing disease, particularly age-related ones.

Antioxidants just may tame these troublemakers. Fortunately, dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70 percent or greater), is loaded with them.

Find out what they can do for you.

Dark Chocolate Antioxidant Damage Control

The antioxidant action comes from a group of compounds called cocoa polyphenols.

They're bitter tasting but have some sweet benefits. The body uses them to...

  • protect cells and DNA from free radicals-harmful molecules linked to diseases like hardening of the arteries, cancer, arthritis, aging, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
  • increase blood flow-to the heart and brain

The most abundant polyphenols in cocoa are the flavanols epicatechin and catechin.

Epicatechin, according to Harvard Professor Hollenberg, decreases the likelihood of cardiac failure, stroke, diabetes and cancer.

Catechin fights hardening of the arteries, reduces blood pressure, and fights LDL cholesterol.

So give your body what it needs. Start eating dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content today!

More scientific proof to back up your love of bittersweet! The results of a small study by Dr Singh, released in 2010, confirmed that chocolate antioxidants do fight free radicals in your blood.

Want the antioxidants but but not the bitter taste? Try cocoa bean extract.

Cardiovascular Aid

These powerful cocoa flavonoids/polyphenols help your cardiovascular system by...

  • reducing blood clotting
  • reducing blood pressure
  • producing positive changes in cholesterol
  • lessening inflammation
  • improving blood flow by relaxing vessels, especially in healthy people over 50

Wow! These changes may reduce the chance of stroke or heart attack. That's fantastic news for people at risk.

A study showed that even postmenopausal women with high cholesterol may benefit from a regular intake of cocoa flavonoids.

Smokers the changes in clotting and blood flow may help to avoid artery damage that can result from your habit.

Chocolate Brain Boost?

Just might be! Those dark chocolate antioxidants have been shown to increase blood flow to the brain.

This may make it function better and help protect against dementia.

More good news your brain can use! Study released in 2012 shows healthy middle age brains less strained when flavanol packed cocoa consumed.

Give your brain a break...a cocoa break when faced with difficult tasks.

It's really a no brainer.  Eat some, your brain will thank you.

Boost Your Immune System

So say the chaps over at the British Journal of Nutrition. A study in the publication found that hefty helpings of cocoa aids T-helper cells.

These cells help pump up the immune system's ability to fight disease.

Better Skin

Dark chocolate flavonoids have been credited with significant improvements in skin health.

Go to chocolate good for skin to learn more about what it can do for your skin.

Lower Body Mass Index

A study has shown a connection between dark chocolate consumption and a lower body mass index.

Wow! An antioxidant in chocolate just might be responsible for boosting your internal fat burner.

More studies please!

A Cancer Answer?

Not yet.

Antioxidants found in dark chocolate are known cancer fighters. Chemicals in dark chocolate can kill tumors by cutting off their blood flow.

While some promise has been shown in the lab against breast cancer cells more research is needed.

Dark Chocolate and Diabetes?

Flavonoids in dark chocolate help the body to process blood sugar more rapidly. This may help prevent diabetes.

More information about dark chocolate and diabetes.

Red Wine, Green Tea or Cocoa?

Drink cocoa to get the most dark chocolate antioxidants per sip.

Cocoa made with natural cocoa powder has twice the antioxidants of red wine and three times that of green tea.

Cocoa is the best but why not enjoy all three?  Or maybe a glass of ChocoVine?

Best Choice

Natural cocoa powder is the best over-the-counter choice.

It has the most antioxidant power because it contains more cocoa solids and less fat than other types of chocolate.

It's versatile, making it a good way to boost your flavonoid intake.

Antioxidants Per Serving

Want to get serious about your intake of fabulous flavanols that fight free radicals? That can be difficult.

Ever wonder why so few chocolate companies get specific about their products flavanol content?

It's because levels can vary widely for many reasons. Type of cocoa bean and processing are two factors. Plus it's very expensive to have the flavanol levels lab tested, etc.

You may want to try a product like CocoaVia or Xocai. These actually give you useful information about their antioxidant levels. No more guessing!

Or you could continue to guess. A one and one-half ounce of dark chocolate provides about 400 to 800mg of antioxidants.

Dark Chocolate Antioxidant Absorption Hindered by Milk?

Milk does seem to hinder the absorption according to a study.

But there is another study that shows the opposite result. So just say no to milk in or with your chocolate until this is settled.

Looks like that question has been settled! Two studies, released in 2007, show that milk doesn't interfere with the bioavailabilty of cocoa flavanols.

So now you can enjoy milk with your chocolate. The flavanols will still do their thing in your body! Those disease fighters won't be wasted.

Add cocoa rich dark chocolate to your anti-aging arsenal. Give your cells the antioxidant power they require, while you enjoy the taste you desire. But remember...dark chocolate is calorie dense. Gain benefits not pounds.

Return to Benefits of Dark Chocolate

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