Posts Tagged ‘dark chocolate’
May 22, 2013
The Aztecs knew that this delicious bean was famous for healing the nervous system and improving digestion and elimination.
Other medicinal properties for which the Aztecs used cacao included alleviating fever, anemia, poor appetite, metal fatigue and poor breast milk production. It was also used for respiratory ailments, gout, kidney stones and low virility.
In recent years modern science has delved into the secrets of this amazing bean to discover that it’s the Theobromine, antioxidant flavanols, catecins , and many other body and brain enhancing elements contained in the bean that makes it such a powerhouse of medicine.
In fact, chocolate has been very recently cited by some top health professionals and researchers to be the single most exciting health food.
How is it possible that something that only recently was thought of as an unhealthy indulgence is now being hailed as so remarkably beneficial? Answer – “chocolate” does not necessarily equal “cacao bean.”
Most chocolate candy and other chocolate products on the market contain low levels of cacao and high amounts of sugars, milk fat, and artificial flavorings.
In addition, the quality and processing of cacao used in these products is often low due to alkalinization, refining, processing and over-roasting of the bean.
If you want the true health benefits that cacao can give you, choose only high cacao percentage dark chocolate, with a minimum of 75% cacao and even better, stick to at least 85% cacao. And for true healthy chocolate, look for products that use organic cacao, and are soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
November 26, 2012
His answer? ” ‘Dose-response data’ might not be strong enough to define an RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance), but I’m going to take a stand: An intake of 35 g/day of 70% or higher is healthy.”
Jaminet’s conclusion is based on a look at data from studies that have been done around the world on how organic cacao, eaten as dark chocolate of 70% or higher, affects the body.
While chocolate has not yet been recognized as an essential nutrient – yet – it is becoming more and more certain that organic cacao has some definite health benefits. Thus, a number of nutritionists are starting to list chocolate, if not as “essential,” then at least as an important “supplementary” food that should be consumed regularly.
April 19, 2012
A new study has found that people who regularly eat dark chocolate (with a high percentage of raw cacao) tend to be thinner. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine and headed by Dr Beatrice Golomb, from the University of California at San Diego, showed that those who ate dark chocolate a few times a week were, on average, slimmer than those who ate it occasionally.
The study looked at diet, calorie intake, and body mass index (BMI) of almost 1,000 participants.
“Our findings appear to add to a body of information suggesting that the composition of calories, not just the number of them, matters for determining their ultimate impact on weight,” said Golomb. “Even though chocolate is loaded with calories, it contains ingredients that may favor weight loss rather than fat synthesis.”
Interestingly that link remained even when other factors, such as exercise, were taken into account. And it appears it is how often you eat chocolate that is important, rather than how much of it you eat.
The study found no link with the quantity that was consumed.
In addition, Dr Golomb and her team believe that antioxidant compounds found in raw cacao, called catechins, can even improve lean muscle mass and reduce weight. Mice fed for 15 days with epicatechin (present in dark chocolate) had improved exercise performance and observable changes to their muscle composition. Dr. Golomb says clinical trials are now needed to see if this is the case in humans.
The type of chocolate consumed is important. Most chocolate used in candy bars, chocolate milk, snacks and desserts contain low percentages of cocoa and large amounts of sugar and fat, which can cause obvious problems such as weight gain and onset of diabetes.
For the health benefits of chocolate be sure you eat dark chocolate which is listed as 70% or higher. The percentage indicates the amount of raw cacao in the product. The more raw chocolate the less sugar and fat. And drink Mayesa – a great way of indulging in healthy chocolate because it’s made from healthy organic raw cacao.
December 20, 2011
Besides reversing “o’s” and “a’s” in the spelling of these two words, technically there is no real difference in the meanings. Our modern pronunciation of “cocoa” is how the British mistakenly pronounced “cacao” when the food was first introduced to the British Isles.
Today the FDA defines cacao as the source bean, and cocoa powder (along with chocolate liquor and cocoa butter) as products. At the time these products are processed from the cacao bean, they are still raw and unsweetened.
It’s when a long refining process that adds sugar, other flavorings, and chemicals to lengthen shelf life are added to the chocolate product that “cocoa” veers widely from natural, raw, cacao. And during the refining process much of the antioxidants are destroyed by the heat.
Since that is what most consumers think of as cocoa, that’s where the difference lies.
Most chocolate candy, cakes, cookies, ice cream and milk sold to the American public contain only 10% raw cocoa and the other 90% is made up of high caloric, high carbohydrate sugar, cream, oils, etc. Many of these commercial items contain transfats, and up to 40 grams of sugar.
For example, “milk chocolate” contains just 10% pure chocolate liquor while dark chocolate has a minimum of 75%. When sold as candy bars, both, of course, also contain sugars and fats.
This is why it’s been hammered into our heads for years that to eat healthy is to stay away from chocolate, and no wonder since chocolate in the supermarket form has had most of the original nutritional qualities processed out.
Mayesa uses organic raw cacao. In this state cacao contains the highest concentration of antioxidants by weight – more than acai, blueberries, pomegranates, red wine and goji berries. It is also a natural source of iron, magnesium, and theobromine (which supports the cardiovascular system).
When you drink Mayesa, you are getting all of the rich chocolate flavor and natural nutrients of cacao, and none of the refined sugars, transfats , and nutrient loss of that “other cocoa.”
Photo Credit: zupas.com