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Have you heard the expression, if it tastes good it's not good for you? Well this is not true and is especially not true when it comes to chocolate. Last month, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a number of new studies were presented which show that chocolate, or rather cocoa, is extremely healthy and can help to prevent heart disease.

One research study which was published in December 1999 Journal of Agriculture and Food chemistry says that molecule for molecule chocolate's flavonoids are more powerful than vitamins such as ascorbic acid at limiting the oxidation of cholesterol circulating in the blood. It appears that there are over 4000 flavonoids that have been found in plants. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that are critical for maintaining good health. According to some test-tube analysis chocolate contains some of the very top performing flavonoids.

1 g (gram) of cocoa contains about 40 mg (milligrams) of flavonoids however when diluted with water or milk to make hot cocoa this drops to about 5 mg. If made into milk chocolate this goes to around 10 mg but if made into dark chocolate this is doubled to around 20 mg. and can go even higher in some of the very dark chocolates that are 70 to 75% cocoa.

At a conference in Washington researchers also said that chocolate was high in procyanidins that work like mild aspirin and cause the arteries to relax.

A common belief among alternative healers is that the body knows what it needs and therefore what you crave is what you need. The typical argument against this is that people crave chocolate, which is not good for you so that can't be true. This argument no longer seems holds water because people who crave chocolate may need flavonoids.

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copyright 2005 O.Frank