Posted in Kafevend Blog

Flavanols. Anyone know what these are? No, neither do I. You can find them in dark chocolate though, which means that this popular treat is increasingly seen as something of a new super food. Flavanols are naturally occurring antioxidants found in plants, such as theobroma cacao, or cocoa as you might know it. Not all chocolate contains the initial levels of flavanol found in cocoa beans, as the compound is what lends dark chocolate in particular its bitter taste, a trait that some would prefer removed. With that in mind, if you are looking to benefit from flavanol found in chocolate, it is a good idea to choose a chocolate with a high cocoa content. Remember also that chocolate contains fat, so you should only eat it in moderation, otherwise the flavanols and fat will cancel each other out!

Flavanols include compounds known as catechins, and variants of these can be found in tea, wine fruit and vegetables. Green tea's resurgence as a popular choice for a healthy drink is due to the presence of these catechins. Whilst other types of tea contain the compounds, it is believed that because green tea goes through less processing it retains higher levels of catechins.

The reason these flavanols and catechins are important is because of the antioxidant properties mentioned earlier. Whilst more research needs to be carried out, early studies have put forward evidence that they can help to reduce the risk of serious health issues like strokes, cancer and heart failure. They are also thought to lower blood pressure and reduce levels of cholesterol.

by Kafevend

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