Cacao Benefits

April 17, 2020

 

Cacao Benefits

 

There are so many benefits for cacao, its never ending. Whether it's for mental or physical reasons, it can assist, boost and lift all aspects of our mind body and soul. So to try make some sense out of it, I have set it out below. The one thing I will state at the very beginning which so many people have wrong... The right quality of chocolate (above 70% dark chocolate) and the right quantity (13-30g per day) can be eaten or drunk every day to assist WEIGHT LOSS... Yes you heard it. It can help, it can also make it worse, but you have to know the "right way" and thats what we are here for. To show you the best of dark chocolate and how you can incorporate it in your daily regime with positive benefits. 

 

Researchers at the University of Granada in Spain found that eating chocolate was associated with lower level of total fat deposits, even in cases where people were not dieting or exercising, a finding that goes against the conventional wisdom that chocolate is fattening.The researchers, whose findings were published in the journal Nutrition, speculated that the results could be due to catechins, a type of antioxidant that may positively influence cortisol production and insulin sensitivity — both factors in becoming overweight or obese. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has received some good press in recent years for its antioxidant properties. Most nutrition experts agree that chocolate with 70 percent cacao or higher has the most health benefits. Still, it has never been a dieter’s darling due to its sugar, fat, cholesterol, and calorie content.

 

Researchers from the Netherlands found that epicatechin increases levels of the satiety hormone ghrelin, which can lower the appetite. Thats why having a tiny bit of dark chocolate at night can help prevent the munchies.

 

Numerous studies have shown that cacao can boost memory, cognition, the immune system, and mood. Dark chocolate contains serotonin and L-tryptophan, the neurotransmitters responsible for relaxing the brain, helping to move food through your intestines, constricting blood vessels and influencing your mood. 

 

Magnesium, potassium, Iron, Protein and Fibre to assist with growth of muscle mass and function, central nervous system and bone health, cognitive and immunity all all the many plus sides to eating small amounts of dark chocolate daily. Additionally, cocoa has strong antioxidant properties because of its flavonoids, which are phytochemicals also found in red wine, tea, and some fruits and veggies. Cacao nibs, organic cocoa powder, and high-percentage organic dark chocolate have the most flavonoids.

 

It’s no secret these days that dark chocolate offers a variety of health-enhancing benefits: It’s an antioxidant powerhouse that helps reduce blood pressure while improving cholesterol and insulin sensitivity. Now research shows it may also boost athletic performance. 

 

According to a 2014 study by Kingston University London, cyclists who ate 46 grams of dark chocolate daily for two weeks showed a 21 percent increase in their ability to bike farther and harder. Study coauthor Owen Spendiff, PhD, theorizes that eating dark chocolate spurs development of nitric oxide, which helps the thin layer of cells inside our blood vessels and arteries remain flexible. When blood vessels and arteries widen, they allow more blood to flow, sending more oxygen to muscles so they can keep working hard. What makes dark chocolate so powerful? Chocolate comes from cacao, a plant packed with potent micronutrients called flavanols. The Kingston research zeroed in on one flavanol, (-)-epicatechin, and its role in keeping blood vessels expanded, to support healthy circulation. (Flavanols are also found in tea, grapes, wine, apples, and lentils.) As a rule of thumb, the higher the percentage of cocoa in chocolate, the more flavanols it has. Kingston researchers suggest opting for dark chocolate that’s at least 70 percent cocoa to make the most of its performance-boosting perks.

 

Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites thought to provide health benefits through cell signalling pathways and antioxidant effects. The ones found in dark chocolate seem to stimulate the body to make more nitric oxide, which helps to widen and relax blood vessels, which may help to lower blood pressure." This is also beneficial if you're lifting weights at the gym, as your muscles will need all the oxygen and nutrients possibly available. Not just in the gym but running or sport in general. It makes you work harder for longer. Among the many benefits attributed to flavonoids are reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma, and stroke. They may play a special role in protecting the brain

 

Because it consists of stearic acid and oleic acid, cocoa doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels — and may even reduce them. Cocoa polyphenols are known to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of blood clots, and increase blood flow in arteries and the heart. Multiple studies have also shown that dark chocolate reduces insulin resistance. One study has even shown that when cocoa, has triple the antioxidants of green tea, helps reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, and improves insulin sensitivity.

 

Over the last few years, scientists have published research touting the benefits of chocolate. In response to this trend, researchers at Harvard University, led by nutritionist and epidemiologist Eric Ding, PhD, analysed 24 of the most comprehensive studies on cocoa (cocoa, which can be used interchangeably with the word “cacao,” refers to the powder derived from cacao beans; cocoa/cacao powder is the base of all chocolate). Published in The Journal of Nutrition, the review focused on the effects of cocoa flavonoids — the powerful antioxidant compounds found in cacao beans — on the risk for cardiovascular disease. Cocoa was shown to lower blood pressure, decrease bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol. Cocoa flavonoids improve blood flow, which in turn may boost a person’s overall energy, cognitive performance and sexual function. The researchers also found that flavonoid-rich cocoa could help prevent or improve diabetes by improving insulin resistance.

 

In Short - Dark Chocolate can help with all the below: 

  • Boosts immunity

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Lowers blood sugar levels

  • Reduces muscles pain and soreness

  • Improves circulation

  • Rids insomnia

  • Improves sex drive

  • Slows the sign of ageing

  • Lower your blood pressure

  • Rich in vital vitamins and minerals

  • Helps control blood sugar

  • Increase blood flow to the brain and heart

  • Contains anti depressant agents

  • Prevents heart disease

  • Contains antioxidants that can protect cells

  • Reduce stress

  • Source of magnesium

  • Energy boosting

  • Healthy heart

  • Improves digestion through production of digestive enzymes

  • Increases insulin sensitivity and is relatively safe for diabetics

  • Acts as a mild diruretic pushing toxins out of the body

  • Used as a natural cough suppressant

  • Increase blood circulation that improves focus & mood

  • Maybe the best anti ageing superfood in the world

  • Extremely high in antioxidants to combat free radicals

  • Promotes cardiovascular function health & prevent strokes

  • Lowers blood pressure and improve body circulation

  • Rich in bliss chemicals enhancing physical and mental wellbeing

  • Balances the brain chemistry

  • Helps increase focus and alertness

  • Detoxifies the liver

  • Helps with healthy pancreas functioning

  • Helps to reduce PS systems and regulate it

  • Builds strong bones

  • Helps to protect from environmental and metabolic toxins

  • Dilates blood vessels and reduce blood clotting

  • Reduce appetite and helps in weight loss

 

This all might seem like a lot, the important thing to remember is:

 

1. Only eat Chocolate over 70%

2. Daily recommended amount is between - 13 - 30g of chocolate 

 

3. Chocolate eaten or drunk can benefit people of any age or gender

 

4. Chocolate is effective for both healthy folks and those already at risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 

 

So what are you waiting for - Grab yours now! 

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