Chocolate is the new 'super food'
Good news for chocolate lovers – scientists have discovered it can be considered a "super food".
Researchers found that chocolate contains more healthy plant compounds, gram-for-gram, than many fruit juices.
In a test, they found that powdered dark chocolate contained more antioxidants and polyphenols – all of which are thought to protect the body from diseases such as cancer, and heart conditions.
Superfoods are usually classed as those high in antioxidants – compounds which prevent oxidisation and can stop healthy cells from being damaged.
Researchers made comparisons between single servings of dark chocolate, cocoa, hot chocolate mix, and fruit juices including acai berries, cranberries and pomegranates
The research showed that both dark chocolate and cocoa had more antioxidant activity and more flavonols than fruit.
The study was conducted by scientists at the Hershey Centre for Health & Nutrition, but was peer reviewed and published in the Chemistry Central Journal.
Dr Debra Millar, the lead author, said that the results showed that chocolate should be labelled a "superfruit".
"Cacao seeds should be considered a 'super fruit' and products derived from cacao seed extracts, such as natural cocoa powder and dark chocolate, as 'super foods'," she said.
"Which is good news for chocolate lovers."
However heating chocolate destroyed any health giving properties, they discovered.