It’s hard to imagine that something that tastes so good comes from a seed, but that’s exactly where chocolate comes from. The Theobroma cacao tree, also called cocoa, is a tropical evergreen grown for its edible seeds. The cacao tree’s Greek scientific name is translated ‘food of the gods’ and as with most plant-based foods, it’s highly nutritious. Native to lowland rainforests of the Amazon and Orinoco river basins, Africa is the leading cacao producer generating 70% of the world's cacao. The seeds of the cacao tree, called cocoa beans, are processed into cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and chocolate. Cacao, or cocoa, is often referred to as a superfood because of the high amount of nutrients it contains, including flavonoids that act as powerful antioxidants. Here are a few more of the substantial health benefits chocolate offers.
Good for the Heart
It sounds too good to be true, but it is. Studies have shown drastic improvements in heart health in those that eat chocolate on a regular basis. Chocolate is also known to lower the risk of hardened arteries. Eating pure vegan chocolate can help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by a third, also reducing the occurrences of strokes.
Helps Balance Cholesterol Levels & Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that the powerful antioxidants in dark chocolate can raise good cholesterol levels and lower bad cholesterol. The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the lining of arteries to produce nitric oxide, which send signals to the arteries to relax. When the arteries are relaxed, blood flows easier and blood pressure is reduced.
Loaded with Antioxidants
One study showed that cocao and dark chocolate contain more antioxidants than any other fruit.
High quality dark chocolate is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium, as well as other trace minerals. If you struggle with low energy levels, it could be a lack of magnesium in your diet. Cacao is high in magnesium, and can also help with things like muscle weakness.
The high levels of flavonoids in chocolate are known to protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin, and increase skin density and hydration.
Improved Brain Function
Research has shown the high amount of flavanol in cocoa boosts blood flow to the brain, which improves performance and alertness. It’s also been shown to significantly improve cognitive function in aging adults.
One study found that when people suffering from anxiety ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for two weeks, the results showed stress hormone levels were significantly reduced and the metabolic effects of stress were diminished. Chocolate also contains tryptophan, a major component of serotonin, our feel-good hormone, and phenethylamine, a stimulant that’s released in the brain when we fall in love.
Here at One Love Remedy, we have been in the fitness and nutrition space for over two decades. We know the health benefits of chocolate and nuts and on-the-go nutrition. It was the need for a pure, organic energy bar created with simple ingredients that would keep us operating at peak performance throughout the day, that led us to create One Love Remedy chocolate, peanut butter and nut bars. Made from 8 organic ingredients, One Love Remedy bars will keep you energized, focused and feeling good. Check out our selection of vegan and non-GMO, paleo, organic products at https://oneloveremedy.com. At One Love Remedy, we believe that the world can be healed through the power of food and love. Love for each other, the planet, and ourselves. Food + Love = The Remedy.