Cacao is a natural food with a wide range of health benefits. Cacao can enhance cognitive function, support mental wellbeing and reduce oxidative stress. It supports cardiovascular health and metabolic health, Cacao can also boost one’s energy levels, as well as support bone and skin health.
It also contains many essential minerals for overall health, such as magnesium, calcium, and iron. The broad array of bio-actives makes it a complete healthy superfood for long-term wellbeing and happiness.
COGNITIVE AND MENTAL HEALTH
Cacao is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to mental wellbeing and function. Firstly, cacao contains theobromine, a natural, mild stimulant similar to caffeine, that interacts with adenosine receptors throughout our bodies. This can lead to boosted energy levels and healthy cognitive function that provides an all-around uplifting effect. Cacao also contains several compounds that are similar to our own neurotransmitters, like dopamine, serotonin, and anandamide. These compounds include tryptophan, tryptamine, phenylethylamine (PEA), and N-acylethanolamines. Together, these compounds are able to activate our natural reward pathways, improve focus, and elevate feelings of pleasure and joy. The combination of all these brain-enhancing components in one superfood promotes positive mental health and provides a beautiful sensation of joy, happiness, bliss, and wellbeing.
Oxidative stress is a state where there is an imbalance between reactive free radicals and our natural ability to inactivate them and repair the resulting damage.
Free radicals are an important part of our natural immunity, but health problems can occur when there are too many of these reactive compounds in our body to handle.
Cacao contains antioxidants called flavanols which scavenge free radicals and other reactive molecules in our bodies. This protects our cells from damage by oxidative stress.
The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, blood, and blood vessels. Their job is to transport oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients, and waste products around the body. This system is important to ensure that the body’s organs and muscles are well-nourished and oxygenated for healthy function.
Cacao contains flavanols which can reduce oxidative stress and a healthy cardiovascular system.
Cacao also contains theobromine, a known vasodilator that can support healthy heart function.
In this way, these components of cacao are able to support cardiovascular health.
Cacao contains theobromine, which is derived from caffeine and exerts a similarly uplifting effect in the body.
Theobromine works by blocking adenosine receptors in the body and influences the effects of adenosine to boost energy, enhance focus and mood, and create an all-around uplifting effect.
Theobromine has some significant benefits over caffeine as it is less potent as a stimulant and doesn't over-activate the adrenal system, providing stimulation without burnout.
The outcome is an uplifting effect that is sustained, without big peaks and troughs often experienced with caffeine.
The Aztecs may have been the first on record to draw a link between the cocoa bean and sexual desire: the emperor Montezuma was said to consume the bean in copious amounts to fuel his romantic trysts.
Nowadays, scientists have analyzed the aphrodisiac properties of chocolate and attributed it to the two main molecules it contains.
One, tryptophan, is a building block of serotonin, a brain chemical involved in sexual arousal and mood.
The other, phenylethylamine (PEA), a stimulant related to amphetamine, is released in the brain when people fall in love.
Combine these two with theobromine that acts to dilate and open blood vessels and for some, the body may experience an increase in desire as a result.
It is no wonder we gift chocolate to our loved ones on Valentine's day, it's the perfect superfood to get you in the mood.
Oxidative stress can cause a decline in skin health.
Psychological stress is also a known cause of reduced skin health and acne.
Cacao flavanols are capable of countering oxidative stress. This can help to protect the skin. Other components in cacao, such as tryptamine and PEA, are able to interact with serotonergic and dopaminergic pathways in our bodies to reduce stress, improve mood and enhance feelings of pleasure. Reducing stress is important in slowing down over-active sebum production.
The key with cacao is not to consume it with too much sugar, as high sugar intake can exacerbate skin issues such as acne or blemishes.
Further to this cacao butter, in particular, is an amazing antioxidant-rich skin moisturizer that can be applied topically to improve skin quality and radiance. Combine periodical full cacao paste face rubs with daily use of cacao butter as a topical moisturizer with taking 20g of cacao orally to get your skin glowing again inside and out.
Cacao contains several bioactive compounds that have been noted for their immune-supportive effects.
Long-term oxidative stress can take a toll on our bodies. Flavanols in cacao are antioxidant compounds that scavenge free radicals and other reactive species in the body.
In this way, oxidative stress can be reduced by cacao flavanols. One serving of Uturunku (20-30g) has enough flavanols to keep your cells protected from oxidative stress.