Phytochemicals occur naturally in plants and have been studied for their ability to help the body fight off cancer. Research has shown that these chemicals can actually influence the chemical processes going on inside our body; antioxidants that help combat free radicals and oxidative stress damage to our DNA.
Nutritionists and health care professionals continue to tell us, ‘make your meals colorful’. That means you should be consuming all sorts of fruits and vegetables of color like reds, yellows, greens, orange etc. Of course, the best way to consume all these colors is raw because when you heat any vegetable you kill a lot of vitamins and nutrients.
Chocolate comes from a plant called the ‘Theobroma Cacao Tree’. Most commercialized chocolate has destroyed these flavanoids because they are heating or processing the cacao. It is the same killing process that happens when you heat any fruit or vegetable. When the cacao bean is heated it can lose up to 80% of these beneficial flavanoids.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has been studying how chocolate may play a role in cancer prevention because of these natural occurring flavanoids that are present in cacao. In one article from the AICR they wrote, “Given chocolate’s rich supply of flavonoids, researchers have also investigated whether it may play a role in cancer prevention. The studies in cancer prevention are still emerging. A recent review of studies on the cancer protective properties of cocoa concluded that the evidence is limited but suggestive. More rigorous studies should be conducted on chocolate’s cancer protective role, concluded the author, because it provides “strong antioxidant effects in combination with a pleasurable eating experience.”
What seems a bit odd, however, is if we know that vitamins and nutrients are destroyed through a heating process, then how can their studies and research confirm that chocolate could be a ‘food’ tool to help prevent cancer? As these studies continue to produce evidence I suspect that more may show the true benefits of cancer prevention by consuming a dark unsweetened or bitter chocolate that has no sugar.
In another article from the AICR they state and suggest, “Findings from laboratory studies have shown that phytochemicals have the potential to:
• Stimulate the immune system
• Block substances we eat, drink and breathe from becoming carcinogens
• Reduce the kind of inflammation that makes cancer growth more likely
• Prevent DNA damage and help with DNA repair
• Reduce the kind of oxidative damage to cells that can spark cancer
• Slow the growth rate of cancer cells
• Trigger damaged cells to commit suicide before they can reproduce
• Help to regulate hormones”
In conclusion we need to protect our bodies from harmful elements that we are exposed to everyday whether it be from pollution or chemicals in our food supply. Oxidation occurs simply by your breathing which you need to do to stay alive, but when we exhale some of that oxygen remains in our bodies and turns into a free radical. The destruction of our DNA can be helped through antioxidants that are found in the ‘color of foods’ we select and choose to eat. You can also select and choose to eat chocolate. Of course just because a label may tout the percentage of Cacao found inside does not make it healthy. Remember that through the heating process of Cacao up to 80% of the flavanoids have been killed. This does not change the percentage of cacao but it does change the percentage of phytochemicals or flavanoids found inside chocolate.
Discover raw organic gourmet healthy chocolates that are a whole clean super food. It is these types of chocolates that maintains all of these vitamins and nutrients because there is no heating or processing. So if you don’t have time to eat right or you know you can’t eat right, you should be adding organic healthy chocolate to your daily diet. You have the ability to take control of your health with phytochemcials, flavanols, raw organic chocolate to combat cancer.
Source: AICR Benefits of Chocolate