The Sweet Side of Chocolate

IMG_8984According to Women’s Health Magazine, London researchers tested chocolate flavanols’ sun-protecting prowess.

After 3 months of eating chocolate with high level of flavanols, participants’ skin took twice as long to develop that reddening effect that indicates the beginning of a burn.
Subjects who ate conventional low-flavanol chocolate didn’t get the same sun protection.

So what are flavanols?¬†Flavanols, a type of flavonoid in chocolates, are natural ingredients that come from plants such as cocoa. They are a plant’s way of protecting itself by taking away free radicals which prevent and stop cell damage. Flavanols not only protect the skin but also improve vascular health, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and even make blood platelets less “sticky” to increase blood flow.

Not all chocolates are created equal!¬†Some chocolate, like the ones you find in grocery stores, LOSES flavanols due to over processing. The chocolate most likely to keep flavonoids isn’t commercial chocolate but gourmet chocolates, such as the chocolate from Jacques Torres.

If you want health benefits this summer, choose Jacques Torres’ dark chocolate because it contains higher levels of flavanol.

So long to the days of you feeling guilty for eating chocolate!