It’s amazing what can spark a topic for a blog post.
Here’s today’s inspiration. Dove Rich Dark Chocolate.
I actually am facing down the large tablet bar myself.
But do you see that little label with the heart? NATURAL SOURCE OF COCOA FLAVANOLS.
“Enjoy the rich dark taste of DOVE® Dark Chocolate, now in a large tablet bar. DOVE® Dark Chocolate Large Bars are perfect for multiple occasions, including everyday indulgence, baking/cooking, dessert and “anywhere” enjoyment.”
Serving Size: 1/3 bar
Servings Per Container: 3
Calories from Fat 100
Total Fat: 11g | % Daily Value: 17%
Saturated Fat: 6 g | % Daily Value: 30%
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg | % Daily Value: 2%
Now 170 calories isn’t too bad. Okay it’s not as good as eating blueberries…but turns out that dark chocolate is good for you.
Raise your hand if you remember what flavanols are!
Flavanols are a class of flavonoids…which we discussed in What’s an Antioxidant? on Battling Cancer.
Cocoa is the ingredient in chocolate that hold the flavanol key to antioxidant activity of free radicals.
Basically an antioxidant is capable of counteracting the normal damaging effects of oxidation by neutralizing free radicals in the body. The balance of antioxidants to oxidants is disturbed by poor diet, smoking, disease, normal aging, x-rays and many other things. When an antioxidant neutralizes a free radical, the antioxidant becomes oxidized and the body needs to be resupplied with antioxidants.
Let’s translate that to: eat more dark chocolate. (I have half a bar left)
Sure there are other ways to consume flavanols (like tea ) but what could be more decadent than a finely processed dark chocolate bar? (The amount of flavanols depends on the processing, so avoid cheap chocolate.)
What about chocolate and cancer?
An interesting clinical trial on dark chocolate is found on WebMD. Studies are now showing the impact on flavonoids in various types of cancer, such as prostrate and ovarian cancer as noted at ScienceDaily.
Not only are flavanols (the kind found in cocoa) beneficial as antioxidants but new research shows they may be potent as anti-tumor agents. Check out this report from Georgetown University Medical Center where researchers are studying “a new synthetic version of natural procyanidins, a class of flavanols, created and patented by the confectionery company, Mars Incorporated.” Yes we did discuss this before on Battling Cancer, but I’m a chocoholic (dark only) so it was worth returning to.
If you aren’t convinced that you should head straight for your grocery store and a large Dove bar, check out these chocolate headlines:
Science Daily, February 22, 2007. Boosting Brain Power — With Chocolate. “A study led by Professor Ian Macdonald found that consumption of a cocoa drink rich in flavanols — a key ingredient of dark chocolate — boosts blood flow to key areas of the brain for two to three hours.”
Nutragredients . com, February 10, 2006. Cocoa reduces risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, says study “If cocoa retains its flavanols and is proved to have pre-longed health benefits, the ingredient could be used as a method to reduce cardiovascular disease and cancer.”
By the way…a post script…
Godiva is having a chocolate sale right now! And if you post a comment on today’s blog ( before Friday night’s blog goes up) I will put you in a drawing for some free chocolate from Godiva. If you don’t– I get to keep it.