Few people are aware of the great benefits of regular cocoa consumption; the vast majority of consumers are convinced (some by medical recommendations) that cocoa and/or chocolate are harmful to health. In order to solve this dispute, Luker Chocolate’s research area, in association with research centres in Colombia and Italy (University of Molise – Campo Basso, Sannio Tech – Benevento, and University of Brescia), characterised the cocoa from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, and for over four years have developed a variety of experimental designs, including preclinical and clinical studies with 50 volunteers. Once the results were obtained, we discussed them with a group formed by the most renowned cardiologists, nutritionists, nutritionists, dermatologists, sportsmen, etc.
Today, we have enough scientific and technical evidence to be able to assert that regular consumption of cocoa helps to improve and protect people’s health. But how much chocolate should we consume? Our recommendation is two servings of chocolate powder a day or one of dark chocolate for at least one month. This will help you to:
PROTECT YOUR CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
Consuming cocoa helps reduce total cholesterol and bad cholesterol (LDL), while increasing good cholesterol (HLD) and reducing or regulating the omega 6 and omega 3 ratio, helping to improve your heart health and decreasing the risks of such diseases. Your heart will become even stronger if, as well as consuming cocoa, you begin to acquire healthy lifestyle habits in your diet by decreasing the consumption of animal fats and carbs, while increasing your consumption of pulses and vegetables. We also recommend that you do some physical exercises such as walking up to 10,000 steps a day.
PROTECT GASTRIC AND IMMUNOLOGICAL HEALTH
Cocoa contains fibre (insoluble and soluble) that helps to improve bowel movement and eliminate toxins from the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. These types of fibre have a prebiotic characteristic that feed probiotic microorganisms that maintain gastric health. It is important to remember that immune health is largely conditioned by gastric health; unfortunately many people have gastric problems due to the low intake of fibre from pulses and vegetables.
Tip: eat chocolate and vegetables daily, and you will notice how your gastric and immune health improves.
IMPROVE YOUR MOOD
Cocoa has molecules that act as neurotransmitters of messages in the central nervous system. One of these is phenylethylamine, better known as the molecule of love. It has been proven that the brain of a person in love contains large amounts of this substance that could be responsible for certain sensations such as excitement, tachycardia, and redness, among others. This neurotransmitter triggers the action of other neurotransmitters called happiness molecules such as serotonin (generates a feeling of self-love and respect for others), oxytocin (generates a feeling of love for others and affective bonding), and dopamine (generates joy and a feeling of euphoria).
Tip: don’t make life bitter, take it easy and drink chocolate, the antidepressant par excellence. It really works.
PRODUCING OR ACTIVATING THE BODY’S ENERGY SYSTEMS
Yes, consuming cocoa helps to produce energy or activate the existing energy in the body. Its potassium content and the activation of important proteins in the process of energy production, make cocoa a key morning food that will help you stay energised throughout the day.
Best of all, it doesn’t contain excessive doses of caffeine.
MAINTAIN THE OVERALL HEALTH
This looks like a phrase taken from a youtuber’s video. It seems incredible or a little daring to claim. Let me explain. When we breathe or expose ourselves to the sun, our body releases substances that oxidise it and that are very reactive and dangerous. They are called free radicals and are incomplete molecules that go looking around our body for electrons to attach to. These radicals are the cause of the vast majority of chronic non-communicable diseases that cause the most deaths in the world, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Although our body produces its own antioxidants that quickly neutralise those free radicals or oxidising substances, stress, irregular mealtimes, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and not exercising decrease the production of natural antioxidants and free radicals begin to take over. In other words, bad habits make us rusty! Fortunately there are foods like tea, grapes, blueberries and especially chocolate, which bring levels of antioxidants to the body preventing this from happening. In the specific case of cocoa, it has a substance called NFR2, which is a protein that reactivates the genes that produce our own antioxidant substances, further increasing the protection against chronic non-communicable diseases.
Cocoa also possesses significant quantities of minerals that promote the development of biological reactions, such as potassium, which plays a role in energy production and regulates the heart rate; calcium, which helps transmit nerve impulses as well as protecting against osteoporosis; iron, which helps fight anaemia; and zinc, which helps the immune system, the cognitive development of children and the maturation and maintenance of sexual activity over the years.