chocolate mood antioxidants heart health
In the world of chocolate, we hear a great deal about award-winning chocolate, a little about award-winning effects, and even less about the combination of both. It is possible to have a chocolate that tastes decadent and also has powerful nutrients backing it up.
On the contrary, there is a lot of chocolate out there marketed as healthy in the 60-70% cacao range. No matter the type of sugar, sugar is sugar and only bars purer and higher in cacao will give you more benefits. We believe in high cacao content and low sugar. It's delicious, powerful and guilt-free.
Antidote will satiate you for pleasure, stress, or hunger, at any time of the day.
Cacao beans contain caffeine and theobromine which stimulate blood flow in the brain, decrease fatigue, and increase cardiac activity after consuming. The result is elevated serotonin activity. You might recognize serotonin as that warm fuzzy feeling when you are in love!
Cacao beans contain polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant that reduces the levels of two stress hormones in your body: cortisol and catecholamines. Studies have shown that daily dark chocolate consumption normalizes stress-related differences in energy metabolism and gut microbial activities. So, less stress and better digestion!
Dark Chocolate is perfect to nourish and curb hunger. The trademark flavor of the cacao bean - a pleasant bitterness - has a very important purpose. A slightly bitter flavor on the tastebuds can decrease food cravings in the brain for up to 4 hours. Levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for increasing appetite, are significantly lower after eating a square of dark chocolate!
Apart from curbing food cravings, dark chocolate can work as an excellent long term appetite suppressant and metabolic stimulant. The stearic acid and soluble dietary fibers in cacao beans help slow digestion to help you feel fuller longer, and caffeine increases the metabolic rate which in turn increases fat burn in the body.
Why do we crave chocolate? Apart from the feel-good benefits delivered from the 100+ identified compounds in the cacao bean, it is a sensory delight! The complex aroma, the burst of flavor, the creamy texture - is not easily forgotten. The gratifying feeling and deep and complex flavor notes of chocolate stay with your tastebuds long after.
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is a famed aphrodisiac. But, why? The amino acid arginine in cacao helps make nitric oxide that also relaxes blood vessels for better flow and important for a strong libido! Then, there’s the phenylethylamine content. PEA is a stimulant and mood-elevator that’s also released by the brain when you’re in love. The stimulation caused by the PEA produces dopamine - the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of reward & satisfaction.
It’s no wonder you reach for chocolate! Cacao beans contain the bliss molecule anandamide that work like an antidepressant. This neurotransmitter, only found elsewhere in marijuana, activates pleasure receptors in the brain. It also contains Tryptophan...an amino acid that’s a powerhouse at creating serotonin, which produces feelings of relaxation and well-being. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid in humans - meaning it cannot be produced by the body and must be provided by the diet!
Besides being an excellent reward for a job well done, chocolate contains a mild amount of caffeine. This psychoactive substance creates temporary alertness and decreases drowsiness. Also present are xanthines - stimulants which occur naturally in the brain and, like caffeine, increase wakefulness. The high levels of flavanols in dark chocolate also create feelings similar to those of a mild analgesic (or painkiller). Some recent studies have shown that daily consumption of dark chocolate can even prevent age-related cognitive decline!
FOR RADIANT SKIN, HAIR AND NAILS!
The sulfur in cacao is important for detoxification by the liver and for healthy hair, skin, and nails. Flavonoids protect against UV damage, and increase blood flow to the skin, improving its appearance.
*Cacao is also the number one source of magnesium. (Magnesium deficiencies can contribute to ADD, cancer, menstrual cramps, constipation, depression, osteoporosis, migraines, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis.) Cacao is also a good source of vitamins A, C, E, as well as the minerals copper, calcium, and manganese.
FOR A HEALTHY HEART
Both theobromine and high levels of *magnesium found in cacao help to relax blood vessels for better blood flow. Flavanols found in cacao are believed to reduce LDL oxidation, improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.
These are only some of the multitude of benefits that the cacao bean has to offer. Notice we said cacao bean and not chocolate bar! Not all chocolate is created equal, and unfortunately any chocolate bar from the supermarket isle won’t provide all these health benefits. To reap the benefits that the natural cacao bean has to offer, Antidote is made with low sugar and high cacao content that is specially processed from start to finish to maintain more of these crucial nutrients and antioxidants. And so, this Antidote is wonderful multifunctional.
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” It certainly doesn’t hurt...in fact, chocolate is love! Charles M. Schulz was more true than he knew. Chocolate, more than just being a palliative measure for the blues, can actually reproduce the feeling of being in love. It all comes down to getting the right chemicals to activate the right neurons in your brain. How does chocolate make you feel like you’re in love? Cacao beans contain very high concentrations of some important compounds that are key to keeping your brain happy and your mood lifted.
CAFFEINE + THEOBROMINE
Cacao beans contain caffeine and theobromine which stimulate blood flow in the brain, decrease fatigue, and increase cardiac activity after consuming. The result is elevated serotonin activity. You might recognize serotonin as the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you look at someone you love, or at a bar of Antidote. :)
PEA, or phenethylamine, is probably the strongest “love chemical” in chocolate. Even though it occurs in small quantities, it triggers massive endorphin release in the brain. These happy little endorphins produce a pleasant, euphoric feeling. PEA also makes the activity of dopamine, an antidepressant that floods your system when in love, more potent.
The name for this compound comes from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means bliss. This compound naturally occurs in three places - chocolate, the human brain, and marijuana. With the ability to produce powerful feelings of euphoria, this compound is why some get very relaxed and peaceful after eating a bar of chocolate. While many think that chocolate is merely a libido-enhancer, it can actually reproduce the sensation of being in love!
All these compounds are in cacao but even stronger and multiplied in a chocolate with high cacao percentage and when raw cacao is used. Now you’ve got the Antidote Love with all feel-good love compounds in higher doses. Low in sugar and potent with raw cacao and botanicals, Antidote will give you an extra love boost every day.
The power of cacao (5 A's). At Antidote we call them: ANTI-STRESS, ANTIOXIDANTS, APPETITE SUPPRESSANT, APHRODISIAC, ANTIDEPRESSANT
Other elements in cacao
ANTIOXIDANTS – shields free radicals to protect against aging. Cocoa has by far the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world. Raw cocoa has an antioxidant value that is four times that of the Acai berry, which is known for being extremely high.
MAGNESIUM – for heart, brain power, strong bones
IRON – critical mineral for nutrition
CHROMIUM – to balance blood sugar
MANGANESE – an essential trace mineral
ZINC – for immune support
COPPER – for healthy blood
VITAMIN C – contains antioxidants, especially in raw cocoa
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS – especially in raw cocoa
PHENYLETHYLAMINE PEA – for focus and alertness
ANANDAMIDE – the bliss chemical
TRYPTOPHAN – regulates the appetite, for better sleep, helps with relaxation
SEROTONIN – mood enhancing, our feel-good hormone
FIBER – for a good digestive system
SULPHUR – for strong hair and nails
chocolate mood antioxidants heart health