cacao

Cacao (Chocolate)

Nutrition Information, Health Benefits of Cacao (chocolate)

Chocolate contains a large amount of sugar and fat. Government standards require that true chocolate must derive its fat solely from cocoa butter, unless it’s milk chocolate. Milk chocolate must derive 80 percent of it’s fat from cocoa butter and 20 percent from milk. Chocolate is an excellent source of several types of flavonoids and plant sterols.

Studies have shown that chocolate indeed has rich amount of flavonoids. Studies have also shown that factors in chocolate somehow dramatically increase the absorption of these compounds. The key flavonoids are procyanidins. They are similar to those found in grape seed extracts, apples, berries, and pine bark extract. Chocolate is an excellent source of these compounds.

Studies have shown that the saturated fats found in chocolate do not elevate cholesterol levels. Chocolate can be a rich source of flavonoid antioxidants. The antioxidants are especially beneficial in protecting against damage from bad cholesterol. The flavonoids in chocolate are effective in preventing the excessive clumping together of blood platelets. Excessive clumping can cause blood clots.

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