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THE SCIENCE

Here's the Sciencey Bit

There are COUNTLESS studies that show just how amazing the properties of raw cacao and all of our other ingredients are… and we use ALL of the raw cacao bean’s benefits’ in our organic unsweetened dark chocolate!

To honour the natural properties of our cacao, we never mask it with refined sugars. Infact, our PURE PERUVIAN bar is completely uncut, made from nothing but stone-ground unroasted Peruvian Criollo cacao. Raw cacao added to a balanced diet is sure to improve your life whilst satisfying chocolate cravings!

A study done by Oxford Brookes University found that our chocolate has “significantly higher levels of antioxidants and polyphenols” than four leading brands of quality dark chocolate.

Raw Cacao:

Raw Cacao has been studied for its ability to reduce blood pressure and has been shown to produce “a small but statistically significant effect in lowering blood pressure by 2-3mm Hg in the short term” (Schardt, 2013)

Raw cacao contains a large percentage of flavonoids that display several beneficial actions on the brain. In addition, flavonoids preserve cognitive abilities during ageing, lower the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and decrease the risk of stroke in humans.

Findings from two studies being presented at the Experimental Biology 2018 annual meeting in San Diego show that consuming dark chocolate that has a high concentration of cacao (minimally 70% cacao, 30% organic cane sugar) has positive effects on stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory and immunity.

A farmer cracking open a cacao bean to show the inside
A small jug of Low GI yacon syrup

Yacon:

The yacon syrup we use to sweeten some of our chocolate comes from the root of the yacon plant. You can find out more about the golden taste of yacon here, or you can buy your own delicious yacon sweetened bars here.

Study that shows how the Yacon Root is a potential source of Prebiotics: Research Gate: Andean Yacon Root ( Smallanthus sonchifolius Poepp. Endl) Fructooligosaccharides as a Potential Novel Source of Prebiotics

Clinical Nutrition Journal: Yacon syrup: Beneficial effects on obesity and insulin resistance in humans

Yacon: Sweet Superfood (trialling yacon as a UK crop on Lower Pertwood Farm)

Press release from Alara Wholefoods – the first company in Europe to bring to the market a new superfood sweetener Yacon, providing a new dietary solution in the fight against obesity and diabetes.

Lucuma Fruit:

Using lucuma in our bars is another great natural alternative to refined sugars in our chocolate. It comes from the Lucuma fruit, found in Peru, where we also source our beans and yacon from!

“…a report published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2009 suggests that consumption of lucuma fruit may aid in the management of diabetes and high blood pressure. Analyzing a number of preliminary findings on lucuma’s health effects, the report’s authors determined that antioxidants found in lucuma may be of some benefit to people with these conditions.”

Pinto Mda S, Ranilla LG, Apostolidis E, Lajolo FM, Genovese MI, Shetty K. Evaluation of antihyperglycemia and antihypertension potential of native Peruvian fruits using in vitro models. J Med Food. 2009;12(2):278-91. doi:10.1089/jmf.2008.0113

Three Lucuma fruit, one cut in half to show the sweet yellow inside.
A spoon of coconut sugar

Coconut Sugar:

A great natural alternative to cane sugar, coconut sugar is mixed into our mylk chocolate to give it that beautiful golden sweetness.

A study was conducted by Food Science & Nutrition Open Access to compare the antioxidant and nutritional properties of coconut sap with other sources of sugar. “The properties showed coconut sap could be served as a potential healthier sugar source…”

The FNRI (Food and Nutrition Research Institute) created a research paper on the nutritional and health benefits of coconut sap / sugar.

Hemp Seeds:

Using a cocktail of hemp mylk and rice mylks in our Vegan Mylk Chocolate gives it a creamy texture and helps balance out those rich flavours from the chocolate with the sweetness of the coconut sugar.

“Hempseed has an excellent content of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.” D. Rodriguesz-Leyva 2010 in a study on dietary hempseed.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds contain 116 calories and 9.47g of protein.

A small pile of hemp seeds.

Here are some other great things to know about our chocolate….

EFFECT ON MOOD AND COGNITIVE FUNCTION

In a study conducted by BJCP (British Journal of Clinical pharmacology), it was found that eating dark chocolate stimulates and increases the production of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine, chemicals that create the “pleasure” and “happy” feelings.

A fascinating Cross-sectional survey and study showed that people who ate dark chocolate in the past 24 hours were 70% less likely to report depression.

Researchers say it has a positive effect on cognitive functions, such as memory, and reduces risk of cognitive decline issues like dementia. This is because the polyphenols found in raw dark chocolate increase the blood flow in the brain.

SPORTS PERFORMANCE

Eating dark chocolate every day could help boost athletic performance, Kingston University research reveals.

Dark chocolate has already been hailed for its positive effects on cardiovascular health – and now a study undertaken at London’s Kingston University has found the tasty treat could help give sports enthusiasts an extra edge in their fitness training.

In one study, cacao flavanols have been found to offer performance benefits and enhance endurance, just the same as the nitrate supplements in beetroot juice for example.

EFFECTS ON IMMUNITY AND DISEASE

A fairly recent study on cacao and health concluded that dark chocolate helps improve blood flow (reducing blood pressure). It also showed that regular consumption of dark chocolate is associated with lower risks of coronary artery disease and heart failure.

When it comes to diabetes and blood sugar regulatory needs, our chocolate has so many benefits. The yacon we use to sweeten our chocolate has an extremely low GI (Glycemic Index) of just 1, so you’ll get none of the highs and lows that will come with using just refined sugar.

The raw chocolate itself may help reduce the risk of diabetes. It can help with improving insulin sensitivity found in a study by Uludag University Department of Cardiology.

BENEFITS OF LOW GI

GI is the measurement of how carbohydrates in food affects blood glucose levels

The lower the GI of a food, the less effect it has on blood sugar levels.

Dark chocolate has been found to have a GI of just 23, whereas white chocolate has around 42 according to the University of Sydney GI Database research

As regular dark chocolate is normally made with regular white sugar (with a GI of 68), the chocolate we make with yacon syrup (with a GI of just 1) should have a much lower overall GI than the chocolate bars studied by the University of Sydney. We hope to raise the funds to get our bars scientifically tested for their overall GI figure – please watch this space!

FLAVANOLS

Flavanols are plant-based, health-supporting antioxidants naturally occurring in tea, blueberries, red wine, apples and cacao. Raw cacao is the Earth’s top source of antioxidants – 40 times that of blueberries.

Cacao Flavanols help improve blood vessel function, brain functionheart healthskin wellness and exercise performance according to research done on cocoaflavanolscience.com.

THEOBROMINE

Theobromine in the cacao lowers blood pressure according to this study journal.

According to a study by Melbourne University, having a similar structure to caffeine, theobromine found in cacao is a known stimulant. Its good for a mental and physical boost!