How amazing (and difficult) is it to love something that is also supposed to do you a world of good?
Welcome to the world of (dark) chocolates, which can boast of lowering your cholesterol levels, reducing risks of heart problems and strengthening cognitive functions. Needless to say, more the content of cocoa, i.e. darker the chocolate, the more pronounced are its benefits.
Apart from these, it is also being claimed that chocolate has properties that can help fight cancer. At a time when we are still grappling with a way to find a cure for this disease that seems to almost be spreading like an epidemic, this claim needs major verification.
We did some research to find out if this is a myth or if there is any truth to it. This is what the results say:
Truth of Anti-oxidants
Cocoa bean, the main component of chocolate, definitely does have flavanols, which are anti-oxidants. This means that are supposed to help inslowing down or preventing the oxidation of cells and thereby their damage, which causes cancer to develop.Raw cocoa beans are supposed to have a very high degree of ‘Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity’ which suggests it high antioxidant property. Dark chocolate with 70% cocoa or more abound not only in flavanols but polyphenols as well as proanthocyanidins- which apparently combine successfully to slow down growing cancer cells.
Additionally, cocoa is also supposed to contain pentamer compounds that help deactivate protein that makes cancer cells divide rapidly.
Folly of the Lab
True, the presence of flavonoids has slowed down the growth of cancer but only within the confines of laboratory experiments where the cancer was artificially induced. There is no legit proof or evidence which links real life cancer being combated by flavonoids present in chocolate.
Moreover, antioxidants like Vitamin C can add a lot more flavonoid than any amount of chocolate that you might eat.
Foe over friend
On the opposite side of the spectrum, many researchers actually insist on the negative effects that chocolate might have on cancer. Unless your chocolate is completely organic, you maybe ingesting pesticides that cause cancer. Chocolate is also highly acidic in nature, which is a comfortable environment for cancer to thrive in. It might also cause dehydration and then constipation among some people-which often leads to the development of various cancers.
Balance over binging
In the absence of any real life experiments or evidences that directly link eating chocolates to fighting cancer, it is wise to assume no such linkages. However, there are suggestive evidences and it may soon be proved beyond doubt. Till then, it’s best that you avoid binging on those chocolates- no matter how many beneficial they are. Dark chocolate with high cocoa concentration definitely has its health benefits but at the end of the day, it still has quite a bit of sugar, fat and calories.
After all, what we do know is that obesity causes extremely real and tested health hazards, including but not limited to cancer.