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Posts Tagged ‘dark chocolate’

Come and See Us in November!

October 29, 2014

10511166_10152082074311707_5230367504383045667_nWant to try Mayesa, the Healthy Dark Chocolate Drink? Come by one of the Mayesa demo locations in your area! See the list below for dates and store locations. Great discounts are available, so stop by and stock up on Mayesa. Hope to see you there!

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5 Surprising Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

December 28, 2013

dark chocolate 4In study after study research is showing that dark chocolate has a whole host of health benefits. For example, you’ve undoubtedly  heard how dark chocolate can give you energy, and improve your mood.

Here are five health benefits of dark chocolate that just might surprise you.

Dark chocolate:

1. Makes you slim

Even though chocolate is loaded with calories, it contains ingredients that may favor weight loss rather than fat synthesis. Researchers have discovered that adults who consumed chocolate frequently had a lower BMI than those who didn’t. And, the number of calories decreases as the percentage of raw cacao in the dark chocolate increases.

2.  Makes you smarter

Dark chocolate is rich in chemical compounds called flavonoids, which has been found to boost brain activity. Cognitive skills are enhanced when flavonoids create new sets of neurons in the brain. These new neurons assist in the formation of new memories, as well as improving blood flow to the brain.

3. Prevents wrinkles

Topical creams, lotions, and even cosmetic treatments by physicians, can only go so far in making your skin appear younger.  For real sustainable results you need to look to your diet.

Free radicals in our environment are some of the most extreme reasons why wrinkles appear in the skin. To fight free radicals, your diet should contain many sources of antioxidants.

While fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants, dark chocolate has actually been found to contain higher percentages of antioxidants than even “superfoods” such as blueberries.

4. Slows down muscle aging

Recent studies are showing that the plant compound, epicatechin, found in dark chocolate, stimulates the same muscle response as does vigorous exercise.  A type of antioxidant compound, epicatechin can help slow down muscle aging as well as improve lean muscle mass.

5. Helps you live longer

There is antidotal evidence that dark chocolate can help you live longer. The oldest verified human being to have lived to 122 years old, Jeanne Calment, gave her daily consumption of dark chocolate credit for her longevitiy.

And now scientists are finding that the high percentage of antioxidants in raw cacao may very well be the key that does help you live longer.

This power-pack of antioxidants helps fight disease as well as cuts your risk for heart disease.

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, which is what contains the compounds that give you these wonderful health benefits.

Photo Credit: livestrong.com

 

Cacao as Medicine

December 22, 2013

cacao treeThousands of years ago the  ancient Aztecs revered the cacao bean for its health properties.

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, mental 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.

Source: BrainFood

 

Why You Should Eat and Drink High-Cacao Dark Chocolate – Part 1

December 20, 2013

Roasted Cacao BeansIf you follow our blog and our Facebook posts you’ve noted that we are excited whenever a new study comes out that supports other research regarding the health benefits of cacao and dark chocolate.

Finally the experts endorse a food that is so tasty that we feel almost decadent eating it, yet at the same time turns out to be oh-so-good for us.

The more studies that are done the more detailed is our understanding of just what amazing things cacao can do for our bodies.

Nutritionist and fitness expert Mark Sisson explains it as well as we’ve ever seen, and and we are reprinting his discussion of the health benefits of cacao here.

The article will be in two parts so you will get all of his great information:

The truth is that you should probably be eating dark chocolate on at least a semi-regular basis because, as it turns out, it is very good for you.

Dark chocolate is healthy.

Dark chocolate is great –  the perfect storm of flavor, flavonoids, and fat.  It tastes really good, comes loaded with polyphenols, and cocoa butter is a great source of saturated and monosaturated fat.

I am going to explicitly outline the myriad health benefits that cacao offers.

1. Dark chocolate contains healthy fats.

Cocoa butter, which is extracted from the cacao bean and incorporated into most reputable dark chocolate bars, is mostly monounsaturated and saturated fat, with very little polyunsaturated fat.  And most of that saturated fat is stearic acid, widely known for having neutral effects on LDL (the bad cholesterol).

2. Dark chocolate contains lots of polyphenols, particularly flavanols.

When it comes to polyphenol content and antioxidant capacity, cacao trounces the “superfruits” acai, pomegranate, cranberry, and blueberry.

The most studied polyphenol in cacao is epicatechin, a flavanol that is quite potent and healthful.

What when the square of polyphenol-rich dark chocolate melts on the tongue, is swallowed, digested, and incorporated into the body? What are the actual health benefits of consuming high-cacao content dark chocolate?  Read on –

3. Dark chocolate and blood pressure.

Epidemiological studies (the study of the causes and effects of health in specific populations) pretty consistently show that dark chocolate consumption is related to lower blood pressure readings, for example among the Kuna Indians living in Panama, and the elderly Dutch.

These findings led to controlled studies by researchers in the medical and nutrition fields.

For example, one study found that fifteen days of eating dark chocolate lowered blood pressure  (and improved insulin sensitivity) in healthy subjects. Cacao consumption also improved arterial flow in smokers.

Another study used flavanol-rich cacao to increase nitric oxide production in healthy humans which dilated the blood vessels thus lowering blood pressure.

Still another study found that eating dark chocolate improved circulation directly to the heart.

 

Source: MarksDailyApple

Disclaimer: Neither Mark Sisson nor Mayesa has received remuneration for the publication of this guest blog, nor is there product endorsement.

Why You Should Eat and Drink High-Cacao Dark Chocolate – Part 2

December 18, 2013

Raw Cacao Powder“The truth is that you should probably be eating dark chocolate on at least a semi-regular basis because, as it turns out, it is very good for you.” So writes nutritionist and fitness expert Mark Sisson in Part 1 of our 2-part article where we look at the health benefits of raw cacao, and of enjoying dark chocolate.

We continue here with more information from Mark Sisson:

4. Dark chocolate and cardiovascular disease.

Studies have shown that people with both normal and elevated cholesterol levels, who ingested cacao powder mixed with hot water lowered LDL (bad cholesterol) and increased HDL (good cholesterol). All three doses of high-flavanol cacao powder – 13, 19.5, and 26 g/day – proved beneficial. If you’re wondering, 26 grams of powder is about a quarter cup.

The effects of chocolate on cholesterol also means that it will lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. And indeed, epidemiological studies suggest that this is the case. In a sample of over 2200 patients, chocolate consumption was inversely associated with progression of atherosclerotic plaque (clogged arteries).

5. Dark chocolate and insulin resistance.

For fifteen days, hypertensive, glucose-intolerant patients received either 100 daily grams of high-polyphenol dark chocolate or 100 daily grams of zero-polyphenol white chocolate. Nothing differed between the groups besides the type of chocolate. Dark chocolate lowered blood pressure, increased insulin sensitivity, and improved endothelial function, while white chocolate did none of those things.

6. Dark chocolate and UV damage.

Who would have thought?  One study found that feeding high levels of dark chocolate to healthy people over twelve weeks resulted in greater resistance to  UV dosage than a low-flavanol-from-cacao

Seeing as how most of chocolate’s benefits stem from the polyphenol content, and most of the studies that saw large effects used “high-flavanol” dark chocolate, you should be gunning for chocolate with high polyphenol counts.

Dutch processed, or alkalized, chocolate lightens the color, removes some of the bitter compounds, and gives it a milder taste. Awesome for Hershey’s Kisses, but awful for the flavanol content.

Those “bitter compounds,” you see, are the flavanols. Without the bitterness (which I think of as complexity), you’re missing most of the beneficial polyphenols. It might taste good, but it won’t perform all of the aforementioned physiological tasks.

Once you’ve got a lead on some good chocolate with high cacao and lower sugar levels, eat a few squares a sitting, or enjoy Mayesa healthy chocolate drink every day!  Treat it like a medicinal adjunct to an otherwise solid diet, says Sisson.

We thank Mark Sisson for his insightful discussion of the wonderful health benefits of raw cacao.

Source: MarksDailyApple 

Disclaimer: Neither Mark Sisson nor Mayesa has received remuneration for the publication of this guest blog, nor is there product endorsement.

 

 

 

Healthy Chocolate – What is the Best Dose?

December 26, 2012

That is a great question. It was posed to Paul Jaminet, a scientist and health journalist of The Perfect Health Diet web site.

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.

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Can Chocolate Keep You Slim? – A New Study

December 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.

What is the Difference Between “Cacao” and “Cocoa”?

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

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