Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Over 1200 different molecules have been discovered in unadulterated cacao. Many of them are heat sensitive and are destroyed during the modern mass production of chocolate. Aztec Gold Chocolate's stone ground cacao, however, not only contains a pharmacological cornucopia of feel good chemicals, but also retains all of its medicinal benefits because low temperatures are maintained throughout the production process from bean to bar.
One such chemical is the recently discovered Anandamide the ‘bliss molecule’, derived from the Sanskrit word ‘ananda’ meaning, bliss or joy. It is an endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter that is being synthesised by pharmaceutical companies to create anti-depressant drugs. Another, Tryptophan, a heat volatile amino acid, is known to enhance mood. A third is Serotonin, also known to induce feelings of well-being and happiness. Then there’s Phenylethylamine (PEA), the ‘love molecule’, which increases the activity of neurotransmitters in the parts of the brain that control our ability to concentrate and stay alert. And finally Dopamine, the extensively studied neurotransmitter that is essential for brain health.
In addition to our heads, Aztec Gold Chocolate's stone ground cacao also helps our hearts. It contains the highest amount of naturally occurring magnesium as well as potassium, both essential minerals for optimal heart function cell function and muscle contraction.
In 2004, a study published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine noted that compounds derived from cacao affect total cholesterol in two main ways. They increase the concentration of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol, as well as modifying the structure of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad stuff, reducing its damaging effects on the body. The Linus Pauling Institute explains that phytosterols, the plant fatty acids found in cacao beans and in other plants, help to lower total cholesterol levels by taking the place of unhealthy fats and inhibiting their absorption in the body.
Cacao is one of the richest sources of antioxidants found in any food. One of these, flavanol, has been shown when consumed daily to reduce blood pressure, boost brainpower and improve memory by increasing blood flow to the brain. Very recent research suggests that the favanols in Cacao could help prevent Alzheimers's disease. Antioxidants can prevent or delay cell damage hence the extensive research into their anti-aging effects. No other food on Earth can match cacao’s unique blend of phytonutrients deservedly earning its reputation as nature’s ‘superfruit’. It is a rare thing indeed to find something that tastes so wonderful yet at the same time enhances cardiovascular, cognitive, and skin health, as well as improving blood flow and physical performance.
Other ingredients in our proprietary blend for Aztec Gold chocolate have been chosen not only for their delectable taste but also for their additional health benefits. These include:
COCONUT PALM SUGAR
Coconut sugar contains the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus and boron - minerals necessary for vitamins to work efficiently in the body. It also contains 12 of the B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, nicotinic acid, biotin, pyridoxal and inositol. It is especially high in the vitamin inositol, which is necessary for nerve transmission, metabolism of cholesterol and the redistribution of fat within the body. Inositol has been used to treat diabetes, depression and panic attacks. Coconut palm sugar’s glycemic index is 40, which is considered low, whereas processed white sugar has a glycemic index of 65.
And so, with our handcrafted stone ground, packed-with-goodness Aztec Gold Chocolate, you need no longer think of chocolate as a guilty pleasure. Now you can indulge with abandon, safe in the knowledge that it will only do you good!
Recommended daily allowance 25g-30g