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Dark Chocolate and Healthy Living!

December 26, 2014

319013_10151095113901707_597498682_nThe Mayesa team has long known that cacao, Dark Chocolate in its purest form, has many health benefits. Recently, on his Living to 100 series for CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the Emmy Award winning chief medical correspondent for the health and wellness unit at CNN, took a look at habits that aid in a living a long and healthy life including staying active, eating less red meat, get plenty of sleep AND eating cacao. Below are some of the highlights from the video, as well as a few other healthy reasons to eat, or even better, drink Cacao.


Heart-Healthy Chocolate for Valentine’s Day

December 12, 2014

Mayesa, with its organic, fair-trade cacao, is a great choice for Heart Health Month and Valentine’s Day.  Why?

Hearts, chocolate, and Valentine’s Day have gone together like hands in gloves for decades.

But it’s just recently that science has been putting its stamp of approval on dark chocolate as a true benefit of a healthy heart.

Cacao is being studied more and more, and the findings are exciting for chocolate lovers. It turns out that “Healthy Chocolate” is a real concept.

In fact, dark chocolate, the same type that is in Mayesa drinks, has been recently cited by some top health professionals and researchers as the single most exciting health food.

In universities and research labs across the U.S. and around the world scientifically-designed medical studies are showing that there is a positive correlation between organic cacao and a reduction in the risk of developing heart disease.

The flavanols contained in cacao have been found to act as “cardio-protective” agents.

Benefits of consuming dark chocolate like that found in Mayesa:

1. Effect on Arteries and Veins

In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, results showed 47% improvement in how much the arteries dilated.

There was also indication that an increase in cells occurred that are produced in the bone marrow and that can develop into the structural cells that line and repair the arteries and veins.

In another study with a sample of over 2200 patients, the more cacao that was eaten, the fewer clogged arteries were found. Cacao consumption has also been found to improve arterial flow in smokers.

 2. Effect on Cholesterol

It appears that the antioxidants in cacao can prevent the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol relating to the mechanism of protection in heart 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.

3. Effect on Blood Pressure

Research pretty consistently shows that dark chocolate consumption is related to lower blood pressure readings.

For example, one study found that fifteen days of eating dark chocolate lowered blood pressure in healthy subjects.

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.

Valentine’s Day Super Food

Cacao is a superfood for all seasons, and especially for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine chocolates are generally presented in a heart-shaped box, or are created in the shape of a heart. And now science is telling us that dark chocolate – is actually “heart-healthy!”

It’s important to note that it is cacao (dark chocolate) that is indicated as an element that helps reduce heart disease. The more sugars and fats that are added to chocolate as it is refined and used to manufacture chocolate products used in candy and other chocolate sweets, the further away you get from the health benefits of cacao.

Both the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association recommend eating a moderate amount of dark chocolate every day to contribute to maintaining a healthy heart.

So, enjoy your Valentine’s Day chocolate – just make sure it is quality dark chocolate.