Consumption of flavonoid-rich dark chocolates or hot cocoa protects your skin from the sun. This finding from a German study was published in the Journal of Nutrition.
The study was carried out on two groups of women in the age bracket of 18 to 65 years. On a daily basis, group 1 consumed hot cocoa with a total concentration of 329 milligrams of flavanols and group 2 with a total concentration of 27 milligrams of flavanols. Epicatechin and catechin were the primary flavanols in the cocoa.
A followup study was done on these two groups.
The skin reddening due to UV light exposure in women who drank flavonoid-rich hot cocoa had decreased by15% at 6 weeks and by 25% at 12 weeks. It was also noted that their skin was 11% thicker, 13% moister, 16% denser, and 42% less scaly compared to their skin at the beginning of the study. Women who drank low-flavanol hot cocoa had no change in their reddening as well as skin tone or texture; it was same as before.
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Although the researchers couldn’t explain the mechanism for most of the skin benefits, they believe that improved blood circulation to the skin may be a factor influencing it. To be healthy, the skin like any other tissues of the body requires a significant and improved blood flow to it. The findings were carried out by Wilhelm Stahl and his colleagues from Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf.
Flavanols are found only in dark chocolates. Most of the chocolate candy bars we get across the stores have undergone a production process which removes flavanols; this will not help you. And for those who dislike the bitter taste of dark chocolate, there are options. CocoaVia is chocolate candy which has 250 mg of cocoa flavanols per serving, is sweet to taste and unprocessed.
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Once again, consuming flavonoid-rich dark chocolate offers your skin significant protection against harmful UV rays.