Dark Chocolate and Flavanols

August 14, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

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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.”

Nutritional Information

Serving Size: 1/3 bar
Servings Per Container: 3

Calories 170
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.

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9 Responses to “Dark Chocolate and Flavanols”
  1. Trimming is probably the most difficult steps involved in increased gardening, it can be additionally

  2. Great post! Acai is an awesome product and it’s really just exploding.

    Rachael Ray rated Acai Berry #1 Superfood! For example, check out this awesome Acai product:


  3. Tina Minden says:

    Great post! This has some wonderful information, and goes right along with the healthy chocolate I have been enjoying!
    Produced with unprocessed, non-alkalized, non-lecithinized cacao powder, combined with the Acai berry and blueberries. The combination of these ingredients, in their natural state, provide a product that is packed full of the most powerful antioxidants! Chocolate products on store shelves use processed cocoa powder and sugars, along with bad fats, fillers, waxes, preservatives, and many contain a high amount of calories.
    Thanks again for your research, and wealth of information!
    Tina Minden

    Besides the natural antioxidants, a full spectrum of additional antioxidants including blueberries, concord grapes and nature’s ‘complete food’, the Acai berry is added. Xocai is the most potent antioxidant natural food available in the world.

  4. Myra says:

    Woohoo! Thanks, Tina! You’re doing a great job with this blog. So informative, and fun, too!

  5. Tina says:

    Stop by anytime, Connie 🙂

  6. connie mattiuz says:

    You know I dont want to talk about chocolate, but I want to thank you for your kind words. Yours truly connie

  7. Myra!!! Glad you popped by. You will be receiving free chocoLOT in the mail!!!

  8. Myra says:

    Great info, Tina, as always! As if we needed more reasons to eat chocolate!!!

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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