Bioavailability and Health Effects of Cocoa Polyphenyls

Chocolate is good for you! In a recent review, it was discovered that cocoa (or cacao in the raw form) was protective against cardiovascular disease.

Cacao is very high in polyphenyls, especially catechins. Green tea also contains this phytonutrient, which has reputed antioxidant activity. Unlike the catechins in green tea, those in cocoa are much more bio-available, which means that they are more easily used by the body.

Raw cacao is much higher in antioxidants, as opposed to cocoa, the roasted version you find in regular chocolate and drinking chocolate, which has lost some of it’s antioxidant effect.

Raw cacao powder and raw chocolate is available at organic markets or health food shops. Don’t despair if you can’t get a hold of any, regular chocolate still contains some of these antioxidants, but go for the dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa. Yum!

Inflammopharmacology, 2010.