How does it do all that? Part of it is the antioxidant activity of the dark chocolates. According to the MD chocolate researcher, Dr. Sue Williams of Baylor University Medical Centre and also a chocolate maker and marketer, the dark chocolate has 510 milligrams of the flavanol, (protective plant nutrients) per 100 grams than the following well-known antioxidant foods which very specifically weigh in at the following flavanol numbers: apples 110 mg, cherries 96 mg. brewed black tea 65 mg. or red wine, 65 mg. The antioxidant activity is being particularly measured in the ORAC units. The ORAC score per 100 grams of the unprocessed raw cacao measures to around 28,000. Acai is 18,000, Strawberries counts to 1,540, and the spinach counts to 1,260. The score for the overall usual manufactured dark chocolate is still 13,120, which is still very high. For the case of the milk chocolate, the score goes down to 6,740. The overall high antioxidant levels give a particular chocolate its anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. And cocoa is indeed a rich source of the various minerals magnesium, sulphur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, and manganese, and some of the B Vitamins.
But who would probably think that chocolate would lower the physical problem of blood pressure? By far my favorite dark chocolate study was done in the year 2001 at the University of Harvard. The head researcher Dr. Norman K. Hollenberg, MD, professor of medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School was very much inspired by learning about the residents of a Panama island who almost never ever developed the physical problem of high blood pressure, and drank 5 cups of cocoa a day regularly. When they left the island and their cocoa, they were vulnerable to the problem of high blood pressure. He wanted to find out why, so he gave the Boston volunteers some cups of cocoa, either with the high levels of flavanol or low levels. The people with the high level of cocoa showed more nitric oxide activity which in turn lowers the blood pressure and promote the cardiovascular health. The problem was solved!