London: There’s good news for chocoholics as US researchers have discovered that their favourite treat could be an even better way to boost their health than fruit, and also dubbed it as the latest ‘super food.’
They found that chocolates contain more healthy plant compounds and antioxidants, gram-for-gram, than fruit juice and provides far more nutritional goodness than food experts had previously thought, reports the Daily Express.
Scientists at the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition compared cocoa powder, the raw ingredient of chocolate, with powders made from fruits like acai berries, blueberries, cranberries an pomegranates, the ‘super fruits’ known for powerful health-giving properties.
The research into dark chocolate, containing around 60 percent cocoa, and cocoa drinks found that they too had more antioxidant activity and more flavanols—health-giving plant chemicals—than fruit.
The good news, however, doesn``t apply to hot chocolate, which is processed.
The discovery means cocoa beans meet the nutritional criteria needed for fruits to be classed as ‘super fruits’.
“The compounds in dark chocolate are just as good as the botanical compounds in fruit,” said Debra Miller, a senior member of the team.
“Cacao seeds should be considered a ‘super fruit’ and products derived from cacao seed extracts, such as natural cocoa powder and dark chocolate, as ‘super foods’,” she said.