Research reveals that dark and semi-sweet chocolate have high levels of antioxidants. Eating chocolate can be as enjoyable as it is healthy. Recent studies conducted by the Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology of the University of Chile on Aguila tablets, which have the highest percentage of cocoa, reveal that they contain significant levels of antioxidants that, if included in a balanced diet, can contribute to the delay or reduce the effect of free radicals in our body .
Free radicals are molecules that participate in the aging of cells and that can accelerate their appearance due to factors such as stress, smoking, unbalanced diet, among others.
The healthy pleasure that chocolate provides lies in flavonoids, natural antioxidants contained in cocoa that reduce the harmful effects of free radicals, and in theobromine, a substance that stimulates the nervous system. Both, added to other bioactive substances present in cocoa, give chocolate its nutritionally valuable properties.
In this sense, chocolate with a high cocoa content is an important source of antioxidants that contribute to the protection of cardiovascular health by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL (low-density lipoprotein – bad cholesterol). Experts around the world have proven that one of the main mechanisms of action of antioxidants in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases is related to the reduction of the risk of clot formation in the arteries, and thus to the reduction of pressure. thrombosis and atheromatosis.
As a result, in vitro studies carried out at INTA of the University of Chile on Aguila chocolates in their Taza, Extrafino, Ecuador and Ivory Coast varieties, showed that they are the ones with the highest oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC is the acronym for the English translation), that is, the ability to neutralize free radicals.
Analytical results obtained in ORAC units showed that Aguila chocolates, which contain a percentage of cocoa beans ranging from 45% to 60%, provide the recommended amount of natural antioxidants (between 5800 and 6700 ORAC units). According to US health authorities, the minimum recommended intake of ORAC is between 3000 and 5000 units per day. That is why the daily consumption of bitter or semi-bitter Aguila bars (about 14 grams) represents an important contribution of antioxidants to the daily diet.
The virtues of chocolates, which have a high percentage of cocoa beans of natural origin in their composition, make it a nutritious product that not only affects health care, but also the state of mind. The sensations that chocolate conveys to the palate, its amazing aroma and incomparable taste, make chocolate a unique food, the feeling of pleasure when tasting it stimulates the release of endorphins in the body, widely recognized as generators of well-being.
Source: Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, University of Chile. Lic. Silvia N. Fanto (M.Nº 1372), Córdoba, Argentina.