We've discussed "Health and Chocolate" on this blog before, but today let's zoom in on particularly antioxidants in chocolate.
First of all, we need to distinguish between chocolate and cocoa when we try to uncover the source of antioxidants in chocolate. Really, cocoa is the happy-making "food of the goods", so the effects described below are stronger with dark chocolate, and evaporate with white chocolate. Here's the good news though: Cocoa contains more antioxidants than red wine, or green or black tea.
What are antioxidants? As the word itself says, they are anti- oxidation, they are anti- a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals. Don't get me wrong- oxidation is not by itself a bad thing, it is in fact necessary for survival. However, if a body lacks antioxidants, too many free radicals are produced, and those can be the beginning of cancer. Antioxidants are used to treat brain injuries, and, as mentioned, are believed to prevent cancer-related free radicals. During physical exercise, oxygen intake increases, hence you should also consume more antioxidants.
Antioxidants should, like everything, be "enjoyed" in moderation. And enjoyable it is - a famous antioxidant for example is Vitamin C, to be found in many fruit and vegetables. Cocoa is rich in a so-called "polyphenol antioxidant": flavonoid. Scientists discovered that the level of antioxidants in cocoa is almost twice that of red wine, two to three times that of green tea or and four times that of black tea (Source).
What this means for you? Chocolate is not only good for your happiness-level, it's also good for your antioxidant level! :)