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Looking After Your Skin With Dark Chocolate?

Looking After Your Skin With Dark Chocolate?

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.

New Invention

esthechocCambridge 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.