18. Hot Cocoa, Green Tea, and Red Wine

Chang Y. Lee, Cornell Geneva Campus, Food Science and Technology, and research team found, upon comparing the chemical anticancer activity in beverages containing antioxidants, that cocoa has twice the antioxidants of red wine and up to three times those in green tea. Although scientists have known that cocoa contains antioxidants, they did not know how much in relation to green tea and red wine. Cocoa has a high content of compounds called phenolic phytochemicals—flavonoids—indicating the presence of known antioxidants that can help protect against cancer, heart disease, and other ailments. The researchers discovered 611 milligrams of the phenolic compound, gallic acid equivalents (GAE), and 564 milligrams of the flavonoid epicatechin equivalents (ECE) in a single serving of cocoa. A glass of red wine had 340 milligrams of GAE and 163 milligrams of ECE. A cup of green tea had 165 milligrams of GAE and 47 milligrams of ECE. A decade ago, food scientists did not know the importance of phenolics to human health.

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