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13.02.2009 Social News

Eating chocolate protects the teeth – Prof. Addai

By GNA

Professor Frederick Addai, Head of the Anatomy Department at the University of Ghana Medical School, on Friday dismissed the misconception that eating too much chocolate could damage one's teeth and said it rather protects the teeth against tooth decay.

“Eating chocolate after every meal is comparatively better than brushing your teeth,” he said at a forum organized by Centuries International, a non-governmental organization that aims at creating awareness about the usefulness and health benefits of chocolate.

The forum, which would formally end on Saturday, celebrated globally as St. Valentine's Day, and in Ghana as National Chocolate Day, is a prelude to a chocolate festival to be held in the country in September.

Prof. Addai said he discovered that chocolate actually protected the teeth when he conducted an experiment with the Golden Tree chocolate produced in Ghana where three volunteers were made to eat chocolate.

After some minutes when their saliva was taken for test it was realized that the alkaline level was high while the acidity level was low which meant that there was something in the chocolate that actually protected the teeth.

He recommended that cocoa producing companies in the country started producing smaller sizes of chocolate that could be eaten after meals as snacks or desserts since chocolate also helped in digestion.

Prof. Addai, however, said cocoa in its raw form was healthier than the processed form where sugar and milk had been added since sugar had very serious health effects that reduced the nutritional benefits of cocoa.

“When you want to take chocolate take it in moderation, since sugar has damaging effects on health.”

Prof. Addai, who said he was convinced about the health benefits of cocoa in its raw form and could give a lot of testimony about how it had helped a lot of people regain their health, said cocoa was the largest natural source of magnesium and was very helpful to diabetic patients, explaining that people with diabetes had low magnesium.

Heart disease, stroke, malaria, cough and common cold, asthma, high blood pressure, arthritis and eye problems resulting from cataracts were some diseases that taking raw cocoa powder could help cure or reduce, he said.

“This is not hearsay or guess work. It is a scientific fact,” Prof. Addai pointed out and added that cocoa also improved stamina.

Mr Stephen Dzilah, President of the Ghana Chefs Association, who is also an executive member of Centuries International, said the organization together with chefs in Ghana would soon introduce various recipes made with cocoa.

“We will have chocolate coated peanuts, plantain chips, chocolate wedding cakes,” he said, and noted that the Chefs Association was liaising with hotels in the country to help introduce more cocoa-based foods in their restaurants.

Mr Emmanuel Hagan, a Director at the Ministry of Tourism, said the ministry introduced the National Chocolate Day to coincide with St. Valentine's Day to help promote made in Ghana chocolate and also make people aware of the enormous health benefits of cocoa.

He said the ministry had been involved in many projects aimed at popularizing Ghana's cocoa and chocolate since chocolate in its best form can be found in Ghana.

GNA

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