New Report Reveals Extent of Chocolate's Health and Wellbeing Benefits

Chocolate has been much loved for many years - but now a new report reveals the health and wellbeing benefits people can gain from their consumption of this favourite treat.

Mumbai, Maharashtra, December 13, 2007 /India PRwire/ -- An ever-growing wealth of scientific research reveals the health and wellbeing benefits offered through moderate consumption of all kinds of chocolate.

Paul Hebblethwaite, Professor of Chocology and Cadbury Schweppes Global Science Director comments:

‘We’ve all grown up enjoying chocolate as a favourite treat, and generations have known that chocolate makes you feel good, but there’s a wealth of research that suggests that people can feel even better about enjoying it.’

Researchers are continually discovering ways in which chocolate can make us feel better – whether it be lifting your mood, or boosting antioxidant levels. Some of the most interesting findings from recent years include:

  • Cocoa contains high levels of naturally occurring polyphenols that have antioxidant properties and work by fighting the free radicals, which attack cells causing disease and accelerated ageing.
  • Dark chocolate contains especially high levels of polyphenols – great news for the hearts of those people who indulge in the taste of dark chocolate[i]!
  • It’s not just bars of chocolate that have these high levels of antioxidants – hot chocolate contains higher concentrations of antioxidants than red wine or tea.[ii]
  • A recent study has suggested that eating chocolate may improve the way our brains work. The theobromine and phenylethylamine, as well as the caffeine in chocolate were shown to increase alertness and mental performance.[iii]
  • Chocolate contains tryptophan, which is one of the building blocks that the body uses to make serotonin. Serotonin is a neurochemical that is associated in the brain with the sensation of pleasure.
  • Experts have even pointed out that "chocolate is a blend of flavours and aromas so complex that food chemists have never been able to duplicate it in the lab."[iv] We may never understand why chocolate makes us feel good, but it’s clear that there’s a lot to it beyond fabulous taste.

[i] Source: ACNielsen Scantrack

[ii] Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2003

[iii] www.sciencedaily.com

[iv] Peter Jaret, “Three Cheers for Chocolate”. Health For Life, 1998

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