Seems like every week there is a new “super fruit” being touted as the thing to eat. Acai berry, pomegranate, goji berry, blueberry… My recent copy of Health Magazine is discussing the benefits of drinking cherry juice.
I like fruit. Truly, I do. And I eat fruit just about every day.
But I also like chocolate. Who doesn’t? There are times when nothing will do but a creamy piece of dark chocolate. For me, those times are daily (more on that later). So I was very happy to read a peer reviewed article in Chemistry Central Journal which showed that chocolate is more super than any of the super fruits. The researchers compared levels of anti-oxidants, polyphenols and flavanols in cocoa products (cocoa powder and dark chocolate) and “super fruits” (acai, blueberry, cranberry, pomegranate). Chocolate was the easy winner in all categories.
Why Does This Matter?
Chocolate confers numerous health benefits on those who consume it: lower risks of cardiovascular desease and stroke, just to start. Chocolate consumption reduces blood pressure and increases flow-mediated dilatation. Researchers now believe that chocolate may help prevent insulin resistance, which is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Chocolate also contains serotonin, which is a natural anti-depressant.
Plus, it tastes good.
The type of chocolate you eat matters. Researchers found higher levels of polyphenols in unprocessed cocoa powder than in its alkalized cousin, for instance. And the chocolate needs to be dark – chocolate candy doesn’t count! Some tips:
- Choose chocolate with a 72% or higher rating (Lindt and Green & Black are good and readily available)
- Eat about 1 ounce a day
- Use unprocessed cocoa powder over alkalized, whenever possible (Hershey’s cocoa in the supermarket fits the bill)
- Savor each bite!