Ice cream is a real joy, a pleasure for the senses and from today we also know that it can be a moment of health! In fact, ice cream can become a precious source of antioxidants that fight aging processes and cellular degeneration, as emerges from a scientific research published in the Nutrition magazine by an Italian team from the University of Rome Tor Vergata (Sanguigni et al, Nutrition, 2017). But which are the flavors of ice cream that, according to the study, are most protective for health? Let's find it out now!
Antioxidants and free radicals
Antioxidants are substances capable of counteracting the action of free radicals, the cause of the development and progression of diseases, such as cardiovascular problems, tumors, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's but also cataracts. As Professor Sanguigni, cardiologist and head of the Tor Vergata research group, states, there are several foods capable of providing antioxidants, such as berries, green tea, cocoa, dried fruit, pomegranate, goji berries, just to give some examples. However, it often happens that from the harvest of the fruit to the moment we eat it, it loses many properties. On the other hand, the antioxidants in cocoa, green tea and hazelnuts have been shown to be particularly stable, even more so when stored at low temperatures. Hence the idea of making an ice cream prepared with these three ingredients. The next step was to test the antioxidant action of such an ice cream.
The health ice cream
Scientists have recruited 14 volunteers. The study participants were divided into two groups. The first group was asked to eat 100 grams of the ice cream considered antioxidant, based on unsweetened cocoa powder, matcha green tea and hazelnuts, the second group was asked to eat 100 grams of milk chocolate flavored ice cream. Before and two hours after ingesting the ice cream, the volunteers underwent blood analysis and tests to evaluate the effects of the ice cream. What emerged was that the antioxidant ice cream with cocoa, hazelnuts and green tea significantly increased the amount of circulating antioxidants, while that of free radicals was reduced. Not only that, the antioxidant ice cream has improved the function of the endothelium, which is the inner lining of blood vessels and the heart, and physical performance. In short, those who had consumed the ice cream were healthier and more active.
Perhaps we will not find Dr. Sanguigni's patented ice cream at the ice cream parlor but now we know which flavors to prefer to stay healthy! Or we can also make healthy ice cream ourselves, using bitter cocoa, matcha powder and hazelnuts. Ice cream and health are served! Next Friday, don't miss the appointment with the new healthy recipe, we'll talk about how to make antioxidant ice cream.