True Beauty Starts Inside

True Beauty Starts Inside

Chocolate – “Super Fruit” For Your Skin?

“Super Fruits” have become tremendously popular over the last few years due to their purported health benefits.  Super fruits are generally considered to be fruits that are rich in antioxidant compounds, thus providing additional nutritional value beyond their normal macronutrient (protein, carbs, etc) content.  Popular super fruits include fruits like blueberries, pomegranates, acai berries, and cranberries among many others.  Based on new research from the Hershey Company, cacao seeds should be considered a super fruit and foods containing natural cocoa powder or dark chocolate should be considered “super foods” [1].

In this new research study (download for free), scientists from the Hershey Company analyzed and compared the antioxidant capacity, total polyphenol content, and total flavanol content of cocoa powder (an extract of the cacao seed), dark chocolate, a hot cocoa mix, and various fruit powders/products.  The results of their analysis showed that:


  • Cocoa powder had a substantially higher antioxidant activity than blueberry, pomegranate, and cranberry powders.
  • Cocoa powder also had a substantially higher total flavanol content than acai, blueberry, cranberry, and pomegranate powders.
  • On a ‘per serving’ basis, dark chocolate had a higher antioxidant capacity than a cocoa beverage as well as acai, blueberry, and cranberry powders.
  • The total flavanol content on a per serving basis was greater in dark chocolate and a cocoa beverage than any of the fruit powders.
  • The hot cocoa mix had the lowest antioxidant capacity, total polyphenol content, and total flavanol content of all products tested.

The high amounts of flavanols and other polyphenols as well as the antioxidant capacity of cocoa powder and dark chocolate are thought to be the main reasons for the beauty benefits of cocoa.  One recent study reported that women drinking a flavanol-rich (326 mg flavanols) cocoa drink daily for 12 weeks showed firmer and more hydrated skin [2].  The women in this study also showed a reduction in skin roughness and increased protection from the effects of the sun.


These studies clearly add to the good press that chocolate has been getting lately.  However, it remains important as consumers that we choose wisely and limit our portions when we choose chocolate products.  Many chocolate products are high in fat and calories, so should be consumed sparingly.

Also, it is critical to select foods that use these minimally processed ingredients, as these are the ones that retain their antioxidant capacity.  More heavily processed products like the hot cocoa mix tested in this newest study, have little antioxidant capacity because the polyphenols are destroyed by the processing (typically alkalinization or Dutch processing).

Remember that our true beauty starts inside!


Please “LIKE” the Facebook® button, email questions to, and post a Comment.

Healthy Regards,



Aaron Tabor, MD
Diet, Anti-Aging, and Nutritional Cosmetic Expert

Author of Dr. Tabor’s Diet and FIGHT NOW: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer.
Learn more about Dr. Tabor’s diet and anti-aging research at



[1]  Crozier SJ, et al.  Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: a comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products.  Chemistry Central Journey 2011; 5:5; doi: 10.1186/1752-153x-5-5.

[2]  Heinrich U, et al.  Long-term ingestion of high flavanol cocoa provides photoprotection against UV-induced erythema and improves skin condition in women.  Journal of Nutrition 2006; 136:1565-1569.

Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

Previous Posts

New Negative Health Consequences of Diet Soda
Americans drink lots of diet soda and Americans are facing an unprecedented obesity epidemic. This has caused all sorts of medical experts and even Oprah to investigate whether diet soft drinks can make you gain weight. It seems paradoxical ...

posted 5:00:56am Sep. 27, 2011 | read full post »

The Deadly Truth Behind Most Beauty Products
You don’t have to go far to find shelves and shelves of products promising everything from smoother skin to fewer wrinkles. Women have used cosmetics throughout history to bring color to their faces and to make them smell good. Today, a wealth ...

posted 7:06:43am Sep. 26, 2011 | read full post »

Six Vitamin Powerhouses You Must Start Feeding Your Family Now
I am a physician by profession and most physicians are very comfortable with things that come in pill form. However, when it comes to vitamins, you are much better off to get your vitamins from the natural source than in pill form. This is not ...

posted 7:00:19am Sep. 25, 2011 | read full post »

New Dangers Discovered Under Your Sink
Cleaning products are more dangerous than you think. You may think that these widely available products that keep your house clean and fresh-smelling would be safe, but a word of caution is advised. You need to know what substances you are using ...

posted 9:00:21am Sep. 24, 2011 | read full post »

Ten Remarkable Lemon Benefits
One lemon provides you with 64% of your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. A little lemon juice sprinkled on freshly cut apples, bananas, or avocados will keep them from turning brown. Lemon juice is so acidic it actually kills ...

posted 8:00:44am Sep. 23, 2011 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.