Updated: Mar 12, 2020
We are interested in cocoa because of many reasons. Included are that it has high anti aging properties, has a very high resveratrol content, it has been reported that it can be used to ward off radiation toxicity, and a lot more. So cocoa is used in the Himalayan Long Life Botanicals Super Superfood Reds and Super Superfood Gold. (It is not sourced in the Himalayas, however, and must be imported. It has a good source of natural niacin and resveratrol.
In Secrets Of Longevity is an excellent and long scientific article on the affects of Cocoa and how it can be used to extend life. The link is below and we have excerpted a small part of the article. Please read the entire article.
Did you know that raw cacao benefits human longevity and health without negative side effects?
Unlike processed dark chocolate, antioxidants are preserved in raw cacao. Benefits from keeping organic chocolate unheated include; much higher levels of the famous chocolate antioxidants (oligomeric procynanidins, resveratrol and the polyphenols: catechin and epicatechin) as well as the preservation of vitamin C, phenethylamine (PEA, the feel good neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of love!), Omega 6 fatty acids (which when heated become rancid and cause inflammation), tryptophan (a commonly deficient amino acid in those who consume a diet of mostly cooked food) and serotonin. The cool facts about chocolate in this article reveal how this fun and amazing superfood is actually healthy for you!
It turns out that all the bad things commonly attributed to non-raw chocolate bars, such as cavities, weight gain and diabetes, are actually caused by the dairy, sugar and other fillers added to the dark chocolate. Health benefits of chocolate when it is in the form of raw cacao beans, butter, nibs and/or the powder include; weight loss (because of its high chromium and coumarin content), prevention of cavities (theobromine actually kills streptococci mutans one of the strains of bacteria that cause tooth decay) and regulation of blood sugar which is beneficial for diabetes (chromium can naturally regulate blood sugar). Also raw cacao benefits the heart and the entire cardiovascular system as a whole.
Cacao is the highest whole food source of magnesium, which also happens to be the most deficient mineral in the diet of modern cultures. Magnesium relaxes muscles, improves peristalsis in the bowels and relaxes the heart and cardiovascular system. The dark chocolate antioxidants have been clinically proven to literally dissolve plaque built up in the arteries which helps in reversing heart disease and causes naturally lower blood pressure. Also, various other vitamins and minerals in raw cacao benefits the cardiovascular system. You can find organic cacao butter, cacao powder, cacao nibs, cacao beans and cacao paste at a great price, by clicking this link.
Traditional and scientific properties:
~Yang Jing, Qi, Shen, Blood ~Cooling, in excess heating ~Sweet, Astringent, Bitter ~Heart, Kidneys, Spleen
The antioxidant content of raw cacao benefits the cardiovascular and general whole body health. In processed dark chocolate, antioxidants such as epichatehins, chatechins, resveratrol and procyanidins can be present, but are in much lower levels than in unheated raw chocolate nibs as an example. Out of all the whole foods that contain antioxidants, raw chocolate is the highest in the world. It dwarfs the popular foods and beverages commonly touted as being antioxidant rich foods such as red wine, green tea and blueberries by a factor of 10x or more! There are certain herbs and spices, such as the chaga mushroom and cinnamon, which have higher levels of antioxidants in them but generally you won't be consuming enough volume of them to get as much antioxidant value from them as you would from a normal dose of raw cacao. Benefits from consuming antioxidants come when a range of different types of foods high in them are in your diet, since different coloured foods have different antioxidant compounds which target different parts of the body.
The phytochemical analysis of cacao beans reveal that raw chocolate is perhaps the most chemically complex food on Earth. There are compounds yet to be discovered in this most amazing of live superfoods. Phytochemicals usually degrade in the cooking process, so the raw forms of them should be abundant in every diet for longevity.
~Anandamide (the only food that contains this neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of "bliss") ~ N-linoleoylethanolamine (prevents the re-uptake of anandamide) ~Phenethylamine (PEA, a neurotransmitter known as the "love molecule") ~Seratonin (a neurotransmitter that acts as a "stress defense shield" by making you feel good) ~Dopamine (a neurotransmitter that boosts motivation and pleasure) ~MAO Inhibitors (prevents the re-uptake of serotonin and dopamine) ~Coumarin (has appetite suppressant, blood thinner and anti-tumor properties) ~Theobromine (controversial but actually quite beneficial for humans, see last section) ~Asparaginase (an enzyme that has anti-leukemia properties) ~Ergosterol (a precursor to vitamin D) ~Sitosterol (decreases LDL cholesterol)
The nutrient density of raw cacao benefits every function of the body. One of the many cool facts about chocolate is that it is the highest source of magnesium and chromium of any food! Magnesium is the most deficient mineral in the average human. All of the compounds found in raw cacao benefits longevity in humans.
~Vitamin A ~Vitamin B (1, 2, 3, 5 and 6) ~Vitamin C ~Vitamin E ~Magnesium ~Copper ~Calcium ~Manganese ~Zinc ~Sulphur ~Iron ~Chromium ~Phosphorus ~Omega 6 Fatty Acids ~Saturated Fats ~Amino Acids ~Carbohydrates ~Soluble Fiber (which is the type people need more of) ~Enzymes (including catalase, lipase and amylase) ~Other Beneficial Phytonutrients (such as the antioxidants already mentioned in this article)
There are a plethora of scientific studies on the health benefits of chocolate and none that have been able to prove any negative health effects associated with it (unless the chocolate has additives like dairy or sugar).
Dr. Gabriel Cousens conducted a study on the health benefits of chocolate in February of 2008. What he discovered was that raw cacao benefits diabetics as a safe food since it raises blood sugar less than almost any other food, despite it's theobromine content! It even raises insulin sensitivity! One of the other cool facts about chocolate that he discovered was that it's not toxic to the liver (many people are falsely claiming the contrary), except when combined in large amounts with sweeteners high in fructose such as agave. This is basically the only well known clinical study done specifically on how raw cacao benefits human health.
It has been shown that raw cacao benefits a wide range of cardiovascular issues. The dark chocolate antioxidants and abundant amounts of magnesium and other phytochemicals can balance blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, scrub away arterial plaque and promote general health by reversing heart disease.
(Raw) chocolate bars are known as a great remedy for many menstruation issues women can get. It is also confirmed as an aphrodisiac for both genders. What more do you want from one of the worlds top live superfoods? For more information about this amazing superfood, check out the book "Naked Chocolate" by David Wolfe and Shazzie which is packed full of information and amazing recipes!
The famous "Dutch study", which was done on regular processed chocolate, followed over 200 Dutch men over the course of twenty years and found that those who ate the most milk and dark chocolate had lower rates of all major diseases compared to those who ate little to no chocolate. The health benefits of chocolate were really emphasized in this study by the fact that there was no upper limit to how much chocolate could be consumed by these men. What they literally discovered was that the more chocolate you eat, the more your potential for human longevity increases! The chocolate being eaten in this study was processed milk chocolate mostly, so just imagine the difference that would come from eating raw cacao beans, nibs or other raw cacao products instead!
In a Harvard study on the Kuna indian tribe off the coast of Panama, there was a unique chance to examine the health benefits of dark chocolate in a controlled way. Close to the region where the Kuna tribe lived there were other tribes of identical genetic heritage, very similar diet and identical lifestyle habits. The only difference was that the Kuna tribe lived in an area where cacao trees grew abundantly. They would consume up to 5 cups of a bitter dark chocolate drink on a daily basis (although they weren't aware of how raw cacao benefits your health even more than the cooked version). This resulted in them having lower rates of all major diseases as well as a longer average life expectancy. This study lead by Dr. Hollenberg spurred more research on the health benefits of chocolate, as well as the unique dark chocolate antioxidants that were abundant in these cacao drinks the Kuna tribe enjoyed so much.
The world's oldest human being to have ever lived (that was officially documented) was Jeanne Louise Calment of France. She lived to be 122 and many say that one of her secrets to longevity was her consumption of 2.5 pounds of bitter dark chocolate a week. The third "official" oldest person ever to have lived was Sarah Knauss, who also regularly enjoyed the health benefits of chocolate, although not in as large quantities as Jeanne!
NOTE 1: Cocoa is 5.6% by volume in Super Superfood Reds and 5% by volume in Super Superfood Gold.
NOTE 2: While these above are amazing reports, our super superfoods do not include high volumes of cocoa. If you are ill, please go to a physician. If on the other hand, you want good health by a cross selection of good nutrition, with an associated long life, our super superfoods are available for you.
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Ramos-Romero S, Pérez-Cano FJ, Ramiro-Puig E, Franch A, Castell M.Pharmacol Res. 2012 Sep;66(3):207-12. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2012.05.009. Epub 2012 Jun 21.
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