Good for the Heart. What Else?

Consumer Voice - - Comparative Test -

In gen­eral, choco­late and co­coa are con­sid­ered to be a rich source of an­tiox­i­dants. Choco­late and co­coa also con­tain a high level of flavonoids, which may have ben­e­fi­cial car­dio­vas­cu­lar ef­fects.

The heart-pro­tect­ing prop­er­ties of dark choco­late have been recog­nised for some time. Nu­mer­ous di­etary in­ter­ven­tion stud­ies have demon­strated car­dio­pro­tec­tive ef­fects of fla­vanol-rich foods and bev­er­ages. Black tea, green tea, red wine, var­i­ous fruits and berries, co­coa and co­coa prod­ucts all con­tain high con­cen­tra­tions of flavonoids, phe­no­lic phy­to­chem­i­cals, which have been ex­ten­sively in­ves­ti­gated for their chemo­pre­ven­tive and an­tiox­i­dant ca­pac­i­ties.

In ad­di­tion, co­coa con­trib­utes var­i­ous min­er­als— mag­ne­sium, phos­pho­rus, potas­sium—needed for the op­ti­mum func­tion of the body’s var­i­ous sys­tems. Qual­ity dark choco­late and co­coa pow­ders con­tain high amounts of the min­eral mag­ne­sium.

At the same time, there are other fac­tors that should be care­fully con­sid­ered be­fore de­cid­ing if choco­late can be­come a part of a per­son’s diet plan. Choco­late con­tains other com­po­nents mixed with co­coa to make co­coa more palat­able. Th­ese ad­di­tional com­po­nents con­trib­ute to less healthy at­tributes of choco­late prod­ucts. Fat, sugar, and other com­po­nents pro­vide a high num­ber of calo­ries and can neg­a­tively im­pact a per­son’s health by in­creas­ing the risk of obe­sity and in­ter­fer­ing with di­a­betes.

Also, the pro­cess­ing of co­coa causes the loss of fla­vanols in most com­mer­cially avail­able co­coas and many choco­lates.

Con­sumers should also re­alise that, in gen­eral, none of the in­stant co­coa mixes or other var­i­ous choco­late-flavoured prod­ucts con­tain the car­dio­pro­tec­tive flavonoids. Th­ese mixes and prod­ucts along with candy items such as choco­late-cov­ered caramel-nut chews and white choco­lates are gen­er­ally not con­sid­ered to be the heart-healthy choices.

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