Australian research reveals more than 70% of hospital patients are malnourished

December 10, 2015

The antioxidant activity of cocoa powder was higher than all other super fruit powders analyzed. They also found the total flavonol content of cocoa powder (30.1 milligrams per gram) was higher than all other super fruit powders tested, which averaged less than 10 milligrams per gram. Antioxidant content per 40-gram (1.4-ounce) serving of dark chocolate (containing 60%-63% cocoa) and cocoa powder vs. super fruit juices was compared. The fruit juices included acai, blueberry, cranberry, and pomegranate and were 100% non-blended juices. The total antioxidant activity of dark chocolate per serving was significantly higher than the super fruit juices except for pomegranate juice. The typical serving size for the fruit juices was one cup. The total polyphenol content per serving was highest for dark chocolate at about 1,000 milligrams per serving. This was significantly higher than the fruit juices except pomegranate juice. Dark chocolate also had the highest total flavonol content per serving at more than 500 milligrams, followed by cocoa beverage at about 400. All of the super fruit juices had less than 200 milligrams per serving of this type of antioxidant.

The method of preparation of the chocolate is also important. The cocoa powders, cocoa beverages, and dark chocolate used in the study contained natural or non-alkalized cocoa. Alkalization is a process used to mellow the flavor of cocoa, but it also destroys the polyphenolic compounds they say.

They also warn that the number of calories and fat grams per serving of dark chocolate is much higher than that of fruit juices, which means it should be enjoyed in moderation. ???Dark chocolate needs to be considered as more of a tropical fruit like avocado which has a high fat content so you need to moderate the calories side of things. But people could create drinks and recipes containing cocoa to get the benefits without the calories,??? said Dr. Miller.