15.07.2006 Health

Cocoa Drink To Be On School Feeding Menu

By Ghanaian Times
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COCOA drink is to be added to the National School Feeding Programme menu to encourage the consumption of the product among the youth, Robert K. Poku Kyei, Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning has announced.

Speaking at a lecture on “Health benefits of cocoa,” organised by the Walker Health Foundation in Accra, on Thursday, Mr. Poku Kyei said the government had set up a national committee to promote and brand the country's cocoa both at home and abroad.

Delivering the main lecture on the subject, Professor Fred K Addai, lecturer at the Ghana Medical School, encouraged Ghanaians to regularly take well processed cocoa products since it is best for reducing high blood pressure and other chronic diseases. However, he cautioned those with low blood pressure against taking it, saying that they stand the risk of worsening their health conditions because their blood pressure would continue to fall.

The lecture, aimed at raising awareness about the positive attributes of cocoa and its other health benefits, was on the theme: “Cocoa and you”.

Prof. Addai, said numerous studies worldwide had established that appropriately processed cocoa beans contain a great variety of powerful natural antioxidants, which promote nitric oxide in the body to overcome erectal dysfunction and sexual weakness.

He said cocoa was the highest natural source of dietary magnesium, which facilitates the treatment of many chronic diseases including diabetes, stroke, heart diseases, asthma and arthritis.

Cocoa, he said, also prevents many age and lifestyle related ailments by mopping up harmful free radicals that cause many health problems including cancers, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, skin wrinkling and grey hair.

Prof. Addai said cocoa promotes superlative health by strengthening the immune system via its aroma and antioxidant content and added that cocoa enabled the body to ward off many diseases particularly viral ailments such as colds and flu.

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