Chocolate Can Help Protect Against Skin Damage

German researchers have uncovered yet another reason consuming flavonoid-rich dark chocolate is good for your health: Based on a small clinical trial, chocolate may protect your body from skin cancer.

Two dozen women (ages 18-65) were recruited to drink cocoa with their breakfast every day for three months. Half were given cocoa chock full of beneficial flavonoids (329 mgs.), while the rest received cocoa that appeared and tasted the same, yet had far fewer flavonoids (27 mgs.).

After both groups were exposed to ultraviolet light, however, the skin of patients who consumed the flavonoid-rich cocoa was smoother and more moist and reddened 25 percent less than those drinking flavonoid-deficient cocoa, all thanks to improved blood flow.

The most important thing to remember about dark chocolate: How dark it is doesn't mean it's any healthier for you, as most chocolate is processed in ways that destroy much of their beneficial polyphenolic bioflavanoids. Other simple guidelines about eating chocolate:

  • Consume it in moderation.
  • Eat It only if you are healthy.
  • Stick with dark chocolate and forget the rest.

Science, Vol. 169, No. 23, June 10, 2006

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