The cacao bean and antioxidants
The cacao fruit produces a bean that is used to make chocolate. The beans have had medical uses for more than a thousand years as they are rich in antioxidants. Each bean contains (100 grams of cacao) 10,000 milligrams of flavanol antioxidants. These antioxidants are the molecules that protect skin from environmental abuse and the bean provides the best source of this protection when compared to other foods.
Antioxidants slow down damage and aging of the skin that are caused by free radicals. These are the everyday environmentally damaging agents that damage our skin such as; radiation, pollution, smoke and chemicals. They cause stable molecules in our skin to turn into free radicals. This then begins a chain reaction resulting in wrinkles, skin cancer or loss of elasticity of the skin. Antioxidants neutralize the unhealthy chain reaction of the free radicals.
Since the cacao contains the antioxidants, consuming chocolate made from the cacao will help skin defend itself against lines, wrinkles and discoloration. A study done by The Journal of Nutrition shows when dark chocolate was consumed by participants in a beverage over a twelve week test there was a 25% less skin redness when exposed to UV light by them. The MED (minimal erythemal dose) is the smallest amount of UVB rays it takes to turn the skin red 24 hours after being exposed. The study also concluded their skin texture and hydration improved.
Another study conducted with 30 people showed the MED doubled after dark chocolate was consumed for twelve weeks that was high in flavanols. This would show that if a person plans on visiting a beach, they should load up on chocolate weeks or even months before they plan to go.
To get the best health benefits from chocolate, find the kind that contains at least 50 percent cacao. It also suggested limiting the consumption to three or four ounces a day. A dark chocolate is sometimes passed up because of its coloring. Many assume the lighter chocolate will taste better; however dark chocolate should not be dismissed as it has an intense and natural flavor.
Dark chocolate is full of nutrients that can affect the health of your skin. Quality dark chocolate is actually nutritious as it contains these minerals and soluble fibers:
- 67% of the RDA for Iron
- 89% of the RDA for Copper
- 11 grams of fiber
- 58% of the RDA for Magnesium
- 98% of the RDA for Manganese
- Lots of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium
Cocoa and dark chocolate have a fatty acid profile that is excellent as the fats are mostly saturated and monounsaturated. It also contains small amounts of polyunsaturates.
Cambridge University researcher, Ivan Petyaev has created a new type of dark chocolate that can provide even more benefits than just being heart healthy. His chocolate is promising to give skin a younger, healthier look. With just a 7.5 gram piece of his chocolate, there are more antioxidants than 100 grams of a regular dark chocolate piece and 300 grams of salmon. Petyaev studied 50-60 year old participants who ate a piece of his dark chocolate called, Esthechoc and saw a boost in their blood supply and a reduction of inflammation to the skin in just four weeks. All the participants experienced healthier skin as a result of these changes. The sugar levels in his Esthechoc are low enough to make it safe for diabetics and a piece only adds up to 38 calories, making it safe for moderate consumption. Skin biomarkers showed the skin of participants in the study had been brought back to that of a 20 -30 year old. Petyaev says his chocolate improves skin physiology and those who have used his product say their skin is better and can see that it slows down aging.
This new skin-tightening chocolate treat was scheduled to be introduced at the Global Food Innovation Summit in London. Patents have been granted in the United States and European Union and there are three more patents pending in 35 other countries. Petyaev says his chocolate will not threaten the candy bar market as his product will be targeting the beauty market. He is planning on competing with skin care giants and their various shady skin bleaching ointments by providing an option to a smoother more glowing complexion.
Petyaev has been working on his product for more than ten years by conducting research, measuring cocoa polyphenols and free radicals. He has run tests through clinical trials until he reached just the right results he was looking for. The polyphenols are special antioxidants and will:
- lower the risk of inflammation in the cardiovascular system
- lower the risk of metabolic diseases
- lower the risk of certain types of cancer.
This will be a unique way to maintain skincare and Petyaev plans on attracting first time buyers with wrinkles and a sweet tooth, by offering his product in individually wrapped three week supplies. Packages will contain each daily piece wrapped by itself with a price tag that will be higher than your normal chocolate treat. Dr. George Grimble from the University College in London states there is potential and good scientific results on this product, but also says it is too early to know its full impact on skin care. He further states the antioxidant and low toxicity tests are promising in this respect and thinks using dark chocolate in this nature is quite clever. He has been a long-time fan of dark chocolate and its health benefits and says it has a great track record with positive results in the medical field.
You must have heard of Cleopatra of Egypt, one of the most beautiful women in the history. She was said to use a combination of milk to bathe for her body, chocolate for her face and hair and oil for her hands.
What we know today about chocolate is mostly found out from the history, but also sustained with thorough studies to see what results can be noted and what not. The tests and experience showed that chocolate has indeed benefits for both health and skin care, as it has a complex composition.
The Health Benefits
Chocolate prevents heart illnesses, because it contains flavanoids. These are some antioxidants that help the cells and also the body. The antioxidants help fighting the free radicals that are actually making the cells age faster.
The level of blood sugar can be also kept under control with dark chocolate. It’s hard to believe, but it does make it true, even if the chocolate does contain some sugar.
It reduces the levels of LDL, which is another name for bad cholesterol. The cholesterol usually is deposited on blood vessels until it clogs them, and chocolate reduces it.
Your mood will always be improved if you get one small tablet of dark chocolate. As it helps in producing endorphins, chocolate is recommended when you are stressed as it calms you and helps you relax.
In addition, it protects the skin against the UV rays. The Sun is always emitting these UV rays, and using chocolate for protection is recommended. You will find lotions that have dark chocolate in their composition exactly for this reason.
Used wisely, it prevents strokes. The chocolate contains a substance know as epicatechin, which is actually a flavanoid. This substance protects the brain, as it is found in a considerable amount within the chocolate. It was proven that those people who constantly have dark chocolate are less predisposed to having a stroke.
Anemia is also treated with dark chocolate, as it is rich in nutrients and improves the diet of any person diagnosed with it.
Being so rich in flavanoids, the chocolate also helps in improving the blood flow of the brain. As it does that, it helps the blood vessels that connect the eyes with the brain, helping you see better.
The Skin Care
Chocolate is a great ingredient to use for your hair. It improves the blood circulation for your scalp, which will lead to a beautiful growth of your hair. In addition, it reduces the hair loss, thanks to the improved circulation.
The hair products that are enriched with chocolate will give you gloss and volume, as it is known that many women love having a beautiful hair.
The scalp infections can be minimized, because chocolate also has an anti-inflammatory property.
As it has many antioxidants, a chocolate-based product will protect your skin better against the free radicals. In addition, your skin will be young for a longer time, supple and soft.
Dark chocolate was proven to be good for your skin, as studies have shown. A regular intake of chocolate will give you a beautiful complexion. Don’t imagine you will also get the color, because it is not true. However, your skin will be clear and soft.
Combined with other products like caffeine, chocolate has proven to be a great skin-detoxifier. It will help your skin lose all the dead cells and your freshly exposed skin will be flawless.
You’ll find plenty of bio products on the market that have as a main ingredient the dark chocolate. Choose them wisely and only after you have made a thoroughly research. There are lip-glosses, skin butters, creams, masks and anything that you might think of.
Come to Chocolate Sensations and let us show you how beauty is achieved through chocolate!