Let’s Talk About Flavanol-Enriched Chocolate!
We all love chocolate. It’s one of the most delicious treats that we can enjoy. If you’re savvy with your chocolate choices, it can be good for you too! Most people are somewhat aware of raw dark chocolate’s benefits, but what do raw cacao beans have to offer?
Let’s talk about some of the health benefits shall we? We shall!
Flavanols: Your Body’s New Best Friend
Raw chocolate is actually super high in antioxidants and the healthy heroes that we know as flavanols. These are natural compounds found in cacao. Flavanols are the most occurring type of polyphenols found in cacao (see our blog post on the Natural Goodness of Cacao). When cacao is roasted, it can destroy some of the important nutrients within. That’s why we stick to our trusty raw cacao to create our organic chocolate bars. While raw organic dark chocolate has a ton of great benefits, it’s also important to pay attention to the ingredients list on anything you’re about to eat.
Flavanols help your body in the creation and maintenance of nitric oxide. So, how does this affect you? Well, nitric oxide relieves pressure from the walls of your blood vessels and arteries, as well as contributing to a healthier and a more effective blood flow. Feeling under pressure? Raw cacao to the rescue!
Cocoa powder is raw by nature, but not raw enough for some people. This is because the cacao is heated so much during processing. Cacao nibs are basically raw pieces from one large bean whereas raw cocoa butter doesn’t even contain any sugar or milk solids, so it is 100% pure fat with nothing else added!
Cacao beans themselves offer a wide variety of health benefits including being rich in, Magnesium and Calcium, Potassium and Iron, Vitamin C and B-complex vitamins. Our very own handcrafted chocolate bars contain all raw ingredients, but some chocolates can also be darkly roasted, meaning they’re actually not as healthy as you might think! The process of roasting the cacao means that a lot of the raw goodness is lost, including the majority of naturally occurring antioxidants.
As our cacao is kept refreshingly raw, this leaves our beans and bars packed with your important flavanols.
In a recent study completed by Oxford Brookes University, it was discovered that Mr Popple’s Chocolate contains “significantly higher levels of antioxidants and polyphenols” in comparison to four leading UK dark chocolate brands. Flavanols are a family of polyphenols. These higher levels of polyphenols only heighten the bodily benefits of eating our flavanol-enriched chocolate. This study highlights the proven goodness in our chocolate bars!
Although flavanols can be found in tea, fruits and wines, the flavanols found in cacao beans are unique and can ONLY be found in cacao. So, for all of us at Mr Popple’s Chocolate, we want to nurture the bean so that we can bring you amazing tasting raw flavanol-enriched chocolate!
Beat High Blood Pressure And Eat Raw Chocolate!
Flavanols found in cacao really benefit your circulatory system. They look after blood vessels within the body, this means that vital nutrients and oxygen can be effectively transported around your body to exactly where you need it. Flavanols also promote the elasticity of blood vessels, you may think this isn’t important, but it has been shown that blood vessels and arteries that have increased elasticity are less likely to cause cardiovascular issues and the incidences of dementia. Ultimately leading to a healthier and happier heart!
Raw cacao has huge health benefits, these include; improved cardiovascular function, anti-inflammatory properties, lower blood pressure levels and even better mental clarity due to the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin which is a mood booster. This means that our raw organic dark chocolate bars could potentially help reduce the symptoms associated with depression by increasing one’s sense of positive well-being.
The raw dark chocolate benefits include anti-oxidants which can help keep free radicals under control while promoting cardiovascular health and lowering blood pressure. Drinking raw cocoa also has the potential to increase antioxidant levels in your body and strengthen natural defences against free radicals which could help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
More Benefits of Raw Chocolate…
Raw chocolate, raw organic dark chocolate or raw cacao can all be super beneficial when it comes to improving mental health! The benefits include; increased serotonin release, due to flavanols found in raw dark chocolates that helps promote a sense of well-being, as well as alleviating stress & anxiety symptoms by releasing endorphins – just like exercise does!
Additionally, raw cacao is high in L-Theanine. This increases alpha brain waves leading towards an improved meditative state. Also resulting in clearer thought processes along with calmer nerves – this means raw dark chocolate could be a great alternative for those looking for a more natural anti-depressant!
Amazingly Antioxidant Rich
There have been studies conducted into the positive effects of consuming cacao derived flavanols and the cognitive decline seen in dementia sufferers. More research needs to be carried out to explore this area, but the preliminary findings seem to be optimistic.
Raw cocoa powder contains some of the highest amounts of antioxidants, this might explain why studies have shown that regular consumption can help reduce blood pressure levels. It’s also packed with magnesium which helps to relax muscles, making raw dark chocolate perfect after an intense workout or even before bedtime if you struggle with insomnia.
So, don’t think of raw chocolate as bad for your health – instead remember that it has lots of great benefits that can help to improve your health and wellbeing!
Explore our range of organic flavanol rich dark chocolate at mrpoppleschocolate.co.uk