Theobromine: The Magical Molecule in Chocolate
Theobromine is a magical molecule that is found primarily in raw dark chocolate. In fact, the tree cacao pods are grown on (the pods are where we get our chocolate from), is called a “Theobroma” tree! It has many health benefits, including reducing anxiety and depression, lowering blood pressure and preventing certain cancers. Read on to learn more about this wonderful substance!
The Power of Theobromine:
A. Woskresensky discovered theobromine in cacao beans all the way back in 1841 and it accounts for about 1.2% of chocolate’s mass. You may have found that some chocolates, especially darker varieties, have a rather bitter taste. We have theobromine to thank for that! As it has a naturally bitter flavour itself, and this is what gives the chocolate its typical bitter taste.
Theobromine is a mild stimulant and diuretic. It acts as an alkaloid food, similar to caffeine found in coffee beans. Mexicans began drinking cacao drinks over 2000 years ago and the Mayans made it into poultices for injuries or drank it with chilli powder as a cure for fatigue.
Theobromine’s chemical structure is similar to caffeine but it has less intense effects on the body.
Theobromine stimulates your nervous system without over-stimulating it like coffee does or making you feel jittery like energy drinks do. Not only that, our bodies absorb nutrients from food more efficiently when we are relaxed rather than stressed out which may be why many people crave chocolate right before exams! Raw dark chocolate benefits may include improved mood as well as lower rates of depression and anxiety.
Thanks to theobromine, raw dark chocolate contains tons of antioxidants, as well as minerals and vitamins like calcium, zinc, chromium and iron. It also has omega-three fatty acids which can help reduce inflammation throughout our bodies as well as increasing cardiovascular health!
HELPFUL FACT: Although theobromine gives humans a big helping hand, it is important to keep this chocolatey compound away from our furry friends. As large doses can be poisonous to dogs, cats and rodents. Be sure to keep your chocolate delights in a safe place, away from prying paws!
How Theobromine Affects What We Do:
The raw cacao powder used in our chocolate has been shown to have over three times more antioxidants than blueberries! That’s pretty amazing if you ask me. Lastly raw cacao has been known to help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as it balances blood sugar levels by slowing down absorption rates from carbohydrates into your body. The best part about all this? You won’t feel jittery or crash from raw cacao like you do with other products.
The antioxidants found in raw chocolate help to prevent damage from free radicals that attack skin cells, as well as the rest of your body. Almost like a natural bodyguard!