Is raw chocolate becoming a superfood?

Is raw chocolate becoming a superfood?

We heard Dr Sears recommend three squares of extra dark chocolate, and saw how chocolate can make you thinner. Now we hear that extra dark chocolate (at least 70% organic cocoa) can ease memory tasks. 

So is raw chocolate becoming a superfood?

Chocolate and cocoa may be good for you if you eat the right kind, which is the extra-dark chocolate or raw, non-Dutched cocoa.

Dutched chocolate is treated with alkalizing agent to modify its color, give it a milder taste and destroys most of its polyphenols.

The clinical evidence on chocolate remains preliminary, but is supported by laboratory evidence showing artery-health, blood-flow, and cholesterol-lowering benefits. Chocolate can also deter strokes and brain damage.

There is an apparent heart and brain health benefits of raw cocoa and dark chocolate from the relatively rare “antioxidant” polyphenols compounds in cocoa, called flavanols.

The most abundant flavanol in cocoa is epicatechin, which abounds only in raw, non-Dutched cocoa and in green and white tea.

So is raw chocolate becoming a superfood? The studies are leading in that direction.

There is even more news and scientists report clinical evidence that dark chocolate or raw cocoa powder rich in flavanols may enhance memory in healthy middle-aged people.

In short, the results of a small clinical study showed that people who consumed flavanol-rich cocoa or chocolate routinely remembered things with less effort.

This study comes from the Center for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University in Australia, and was funded by chocolate maker Barry Callebaut.

For an abstract of the full study about raw chocolate and memory.

The full study can be downloaded here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedterm=Camfield%20cocoa%20flavanols

As a general note: It is getting obvious, that extra dark  raw chocolate is becoming a superfood and should be part of our diet. 

Did you know?

Dark chocolate triggers the brain to release natural opiates that can alleviate pain and produce a happy feeling of well being, according to the Washington State University Neuroscience for Kids project. Chocolate also increases the brain’s serotonin and endorphin levels. These chemicals are present in very small amounts. The positive sensations caused by dopamine and opiates released can bring from minor headaches, especially if caused by stress and anxiety.

Dark chocolate contain more antioxidants per serving than most fruits or green tea.

For more benefits: Can dark chocolate make you thinner?

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7 Comments

  1. Thanks for your comment. Extra dark chocolate must be at least 70% organic to get the health benefits.

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