- LONDON (Reuters) - Worried about your health? Want to reduce cholesterol,
or even top up your driving skills? Then eat chocolate.
- Main ingredient cocoa was seen rich in
minerals particularly magnesium and iron, according to a survey released
- Commissioned by the International Cocoa
Organization (ICCO) from findings by the U.S.-based International Cocoa
Research and Education Foundation, and announced at a news conference during
June 14-17 global cocoa talks in London, it showed cocoa could possibly
cut the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.
- The survey said cocoa, packed with antioxidants,
was a "treasure chest of compounds with potentially beneficial effects
on human health."
- Antioxidants are compounds that protect
against chemicals in the body called free radicals which can damage cells
in a way which can cause cancer. Antioxidants have also been found to help
prevent plaque sticking to artery walls.
- However, the survey said whether any
of these benefits were still operative when cocoa was turned into chocolate
remained debatable as data on the subject was scant.
- "The real reason we eat chocolate
is not so complex. It is simply because it tastes good," said the
foundation's Dr. Carol Knight.
- Bizarrely, chocolate was even seen improving
- Mars Inc., representative Dr. Maureen
Edmondson showed the results of a simulated driving test which indicated
participants were less likely to have an accident after eating chocolate
compared with cheese & biscuits or not eating at all.
- On the issue of whether chocolate was
directly linked to headaches, the report said neither cocoa or chocolate
"has any reproducible correlation." But stress, linked with a
high percentage of migraine sufferers, was often associated with a craving
for sweet foods.
- Even your dentist is wrong it seems.
- An investigation measuring dental plaque
acid levels showed chocolate was as likely to cause tooth decay as white
bread or wheat flakes because of the effect of "protective chemicals
naturally present in cocoa and in milk used to make chocolate."