There is sufficient evidence in the science and medical world showing that diets rich in phytochemicals contributes to the reduction of oxidative stress and free radical damage that leads to certain types of cancers, heart diseases and neurodgenerative diseases. There is a definite connection between antioxidants, flavanoids and human health but sadly, there are many people who do not get enough of these phytochemicals and can be a challenge for many people for a multitude of reasons.
First, lets review some foods that are high in polyphenols and once you are able to understand what foods have phytochemicals, you should consider adding as many of these foods as you can to your daily diet. Some examples are: fresh fruits, whole grains, spices, fresh vegetables, tea, chocolate and even a glass of wine or beer. There are other fruits in the berry family which contain higher levels of phytochemicals that are also known as phenolics that have multiple levels of diversification.
Some of the fruits that pack a punch with flavanoids are: strawberries, blueberries, black raspberries, cranberries and raspberries. The phenolics within these foods have preventative activities that are beyond antioxidants as a whole. Studies have shown that they benefit the body and regulate enzymes that are important to metabolizing carcinogens. You hear it everyday, ‘Eat your fruits and vegetables! or ‘Make sure to eat ‘this many’ fruits and vegetables each day!’ The science is behind it and it’s up to you to do it!
Antioxidants that work hand in hand with these phyochemicals are like a match made in heaven. They work together to combat and neutralize free radicals while repairing and restoring cells (DNA) that have been damaged. Since these findings are so well accepted by the medical and scientific community we are exposed to many more products, TV and radio commercials, magazine ads etc… that list ‘antioxidants’ on their packages. Getting flavanonls is just as important as getting antioxidants. If you think about putting on a pair of socks in the morning, you put them both on to work together and you would never think of purposely leaving just one off for the day. Your goal should be to consume as many antioxidants and flavanols as you can daily to give your body what it needs to fight back from elements found in your environment as well as oxidative stress. Considering that the average person consumes 800 antioxidants daily through fruits and vegetables but it is recommended that you get the minimum of 3,000 to 5,000 tells us we need to eat a LOT more of these foods. The reality of this would be eating all day long. Can you really sit down and eat that much food all day everyday? Can you even afford to buy that much food?
The amount of antioxidants you consume daily is directly proportional to how healthy and how long you will live. – Dr. Richard Cutler
In the chocolate world Flavonols have a very bitter taste but manufacturers have established processing techniques for cocoa by adding sweeteners like refined sugar that eliminates the bitterness; in doing so they have also killed up to 90% of the flavonoids. Therefore, to gain any of the healthful benefits that science has shown us you simply need to consume a dark chocolate that is high in flavanols. The only trouble with that concept is we know the ‘life of flavanols’ in chocolate that makes it hard for the average person to find a chocolate that lists their flavanol content listed on packages or wrappers. The science world has suggested that the food industry label the flavanoid content on their cocoa products. Has it happened yet? Have you seen a chocolate bar on a store shelf that tells you exactly how many flavanoids are inside that bar of chocolate?
Is there a chocolate in the market place that has high flavanols? Yes!! Raw organic gourmet healthy chocolates have found their way to the market and consumers. There is a definite connection between antioxidants, flavanoids and human health. Now it’s up to you to get as many of those as you can each day. You can choose to sit down an eat mountains of salad, raw spinach, pounds and pounds of raw fruit or you could eat cold pressed raw organic gourmet healthy chocolates. If you had not known these facts, you find this information intriguing, you are identifying yourself with ‘I don’t have time to eat right.’ or ‘I know I don’t eat right.’, then a chocolate dietary supplement maybe just what you need.